Complete list of Spring 2013 AMST courses available here
Instructor: E. Sunny Greer
Course Description: This interdisciplinary course examines diversity and changes in American values and lives in a historical context as manifested in social institutions and social movements. It introduces students to various types of primary materials (law, court rulings, sermons, political manifestos, newspapers, etc.) and to different methods of reading these materials (art, literature, music, film, etc.). Using social and analytical categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, culture, and sexuality, the course examines several critical periods in U.S. history, as well as situates Hawaii in the context of American experience.
Meyer, David S. The Politics of Protest
Reed, T.V. The Art of Protest
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
Additional readings: Required article readings will be available through the Google course site, the link to be provided on the first day of class.
Instructor: Stacy Nojima
Course Description: This course examines the ways in which American images are produced and consumed in American society (beginning from the 1860s to the present). This course pays attention to visual materials (paintings, photography, advertising, visual news media, architecture, film, television, etc.) and to the different methods of reading and analyzing such materials. In other words, we will explore constructions of meaning through visual representations and their place in history. This course fulfills a Manoa Core humanities requirement.
Rawlinson, Mark. American Visual Culture. New York: Berg, 2009.
Online readings: Required article readings are available online through Laulima.
Instructor: Jeanette Hall
Course Description: This interdisciplinary course examines diversity and changes in American values and lives in a historical context as manifested in art and culture. It introduces students to various types of primary materials (such as poems, novels, films, photography, advertising, paintings, songs, etc.) 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 the University’s Writing Intensive requirement.
Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved: A Novel.
Silva, Noenoe K. Aloha Betrayed.
Online readings: Required article readings will be available on the Laulima website.
Instructor: Yuka Polovina
Course Description: American Studies 211 is an interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary American domestic issues, values, and representations within their historical contexts. While many topics fall under the umbrella of “contemporary American domestic issues,” for this course we will look closely at immigration, health care, environmental issues, and consumerism. This course will approach these topics from a mixture of critical and contested perspectives, which encompass race, gender, sexuality, and class as well as a variety of American beliefs and values. This course will draw on materials including books, films, newspapers, magazine articles, academic articles, social media, primary sources (such as government documents), and our own personal experiences. The aim in analyzing these materials is to gain a broader understanding of how social and historical categorization of Americans have implications and consequences in our everyday lives.
The Tortilla Curtain. By T.C. Boyle (Penguin, 1995).
Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism. By Ozzie Zehner (University of Nebraska Press, 2012).
No Logo: 10th Anniversary Edition. By Naomi Klein (Picador, 2009).
Instructor: Sanae Nakatani
Course Description: This course explores contemporary global issues within their historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts. It will track the influence of American values and institutions in the world and the impacts and changes American society has had from globalization. Key concepts for this course will include, but will not limited to, international diplomacy, militarism, imperialism, and capitalism.
Chandrasekaran, Rajiv. Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone.
LaFeber, Walter. Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism.
Ozeki, Ruth L. My Year of Meats.
Online readings: Required article readings are available online through Laulima.
Instructor: Sean Trundle
Course Description: Over the last 30 years, digital media has rapidly and radically proliferated throughout theUnited States. From email to Facebook and from videogames to YouTube shorts, digital communication is now our dominant cultural form. Virtually every facet of our lives, including business, education, romance, war, and civic participation have been reshaped by the emergence of these new technologies, and often without serious critical consideration of their varied (often dramatic) impacts. This course will engage with these cultural forms through both theory and praxis, as students learn to analyze online media and participate in basic production.
Henry Jenkins. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Updated Paperback edition.
Lawrence Lessig. Free Culture.
Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.
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? This course will consider the cultural events that define various arts and art movements in contemporary times. Topics will include: Prison Art, Alaskan Art and Culture, Art and Disability and Tattoo as a reflection of Culture- Join us!
Course Requirements: Attendance, class participation, completion of written assignments and group presentation.
Kornfeld, Phyllis . Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America, Princeton
DeMello, Margo. Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community, Duke
Crowell Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First People’s of Alaska, Smithsonian
Instructor: Elizabeth Colwill
Course Description: The legacies of slavery haunt the 21st century, while debates over race and gender continue to pervade contemporary politics and society. The expansion of African slavery in the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries fuelled the global economy as it stripped millions of people of their human rights; it also spawned enduring struggles for freedom. In this course, we explore the diverse experiences of women and men of African descent, who sought to shape their own lives in contexts of unfreedom, and to define the meanings of emancipation for themselves. In the process, we will encounter an extraordinary set of actors: fugitive slaves in colonial Ecuador; freedom fighters in Saint-Domingue; an African nun in 18th century Santo Domingo; slave women in the Confederacy who assisted Yankee prisoners of war. The terrors of the Middle Passage, the slave market, and brutalizing labor regimes met with resistance, from labor strikes to litigation, and maronnage to revolution. How, we will ask, did the trans-Atlantic slave trade transform the history of the Americas? How did gender shape the experience of enslavement and pathways to freedom? How has the history of slavery been suppressed, recounted, and remembered? Drawing upon slave narratives and planter journals; trial records for witchcraft, sodomy, and insubordination; commemorative rituals and prizewinning historical scholarship, this course traces stories of slavery and freedom that have shaped the modern world.
Required Text(s): The History of Mary Prince; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul; Dubois and Garrigus, eds., Slave Revolution in the Caribbean; Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning; Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone; Stephanie Camp, Closer to Freedom; Jane Landers, Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions; Kathryn McKnight and Leo Garofalo, eds., Afro-Latino Voices (excerpts on Laulima)
Instructor: Joseph Stanton
Course Description: This course will examine the development of the visual arts in America from colonial to contemporary periods. There will be an emphasis on nineteenth-century painting.
Robert Hughes, American Visions
A packet of photocopied articles
Instructor: Mari Yoshihara
Course Description: This course guides American Studies majors to complete their senior capstone project. Students who have designed their project and begun their research in AMST480 will complete their research and writing that will result in an approx. 20-page paper. The course will take the students through the steps of analyzing primary sources, situating their ideas in relation to secondary sources, developing a clear and coherent thesis, organizing their ideas, and polishing their prose. We will have a series of workshops with writing exercises and peer editing as well as one-on-one consultations with the instructor.
Instructor: Brandy Nālani McDougall
Course Description: In recent decades, Indigenous Peoples around the world have been reaffirming their cultural traditions and expressions, and asserting their collective and human rights over their lands, bodies, and communities. These processes have had a marked influence on the international political scene, with the emergence of transnational networks of Indigenous Peoples vocalizing claims of sovereignty against the nation-states that have marginalized and/or exploited them. Definitions of Indigeneity and examinations of what it means to be “Indigenous” are key to the indigenous assertion of rights, self-determination, and land claims.
This interdisciplinary course considers how Indigenous identity is constructed, negotiated, asserted, ascribed, and deconstructed both within and without Indigenous communities through scholarly articles and books, literature, visual art, film, television, radio and other media. In addition, we will have a few guest speakers and authors visit the class in person or via Skype. Our approach is comparative, drawing mainly on examples from the indigenous peoples of the United States, but also from Indigenous nations in similar colonial/nation-state constructs and struggles.
Aikau, Hōkūlani. A Chosen People, A Chosen Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaiʻi.
Camacho, Keith. Cultures of Commemoration.
Allen, Chadwick. Blood Narrative.
Deloria, Philip. Indians in Unexpected Places.
Driskell, Qwo-Li, et. al, eds. Sovereign Erotics.
Garroute, Eva Marie. Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America.
Kauanui, Kēhaulani. Hawaiian Blood.
Smith, Andrea. Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide.
Tengan, Ty. Native Men Remade.
Te Punga Somerville, Alice. Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania.
Instructor: Joseph Stanton
Course Description: In Wilderness and the American Mind Roderick Nash notes that “wilderness was the basic ingredient of American civilization. From the raw materials of the physical wilderness Americans built a civilization; with the idea or symbol of wilderness they sought to give that civilization identity and meaning.” This seminar will examine how the fact and the idea of wilderness have been and continue to be important to the culture of America.
Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods
James Dickey, Deliverance
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selected Essays, Lectures, and Poems
Annette Kolodny, The Land Before Her
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind
Barbara Novak, American Painting of the Nineteenth Century
Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild: Essays
David Tatham, Winslow Homer in the Adirondacks
Henry David Thoreau, Walden or Life in the Woods
Walt Whitman, Selected Poems
A packet of photocopied articles
Instructor: Karen K. Kosasa
Course Description: Objects salvaged from horrific events are often valued as silent and authentic “witnesses.” However, the meaning of these objects is never given but dependent on the rhetorical strategies developed by curators, historians, and exhibit developers. This course examines how history is remembered in public spaces through exhibitions, memorials, art works, and virtual sites. It will evaluate the power and effectiveness of varied forms of remembrance. More importantly, it will examine what is not remembered and efforts to produce histories that do not challenge common knowledge. Why is public history so important to the education of a nation’s citizens? How does a visitor’s understanding of historic events differ from those who directly experienced it? As Americans increasingly encounter the stories of World War II through hyper-mediated experiences, as they read stories about the innocence of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, and as they purchase souvenirs to help them heal from the traumatic events of 9/11, how is their ability to grasp the complexity of the events enhanced and/or diminished? When visitors interact with Native peoples “playing themselves” at national parks can they link these brief encounters to the historic and current colonization of Native peoples? How are new digital technologies providing ways for people to thoughtfully engage with historic information and consider how it might illuminate contemporary problems? While the majority of the course material will focus on sites within the United States, it will also include an examination of several places outside of it.
Course Requirements: Freewrites (ungraded), 1-pg Handout (for 1-2 class discussions), 1 Research Paper (approx. 25 pages)
Sturken, Marita. Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero. (2007)
Landsberg, Alison. Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. (2004)
Adair, Bill, et. al. Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User Generated World. (2011)
Connerton, Paul. How Modernity Forgets. (2009)
Young, James E. At Memory’s Edge: After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture. (2000)
Williams, Paul. Memorial Museums: The Global Rush to Commemorate Atrocities. (2007)
Peers, Laura. Playing Ourselves: Interpreting Native Histories at Historical Reconstructions. (2007)
Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton. Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory. (2006)
Foote, Kenneth E. Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy. (2003, 1997)
Savage, Kirk. Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape. (2009)
Instructor: Elizabeth Colwill
Course Description: The trans-Atlantic slave trade that initiated the largest forced migration in history reconfigured the social, economic, and political landscape of the Americas. It also spawned forms of cultural and political contestation that have influenced the meanings of modernity. This course on the African diaspora draws upon a diverse array of cultural sources –fiction, foodways, film, poetry, spiritual practices, music, and dance—and scholarship in a range of disciplines, to explore the ways in which women and men of African descent have shaped the cultures and histories of the Americas over the last four centuries. In the process, we will explore concepts such as creolization, hybridity, mestizaje, and exile, asking throughout how a focus on gender transforms our understandings of the Afro-Atlantic diaspora.
Unit I–“Memory, Trauma, Displacement”– opens with an autobiographical account of one woman’s 20th-century journey along the Atlantic slave route, and introduces the conceptual terrain of African diaspora scholarship. Unit II, “From Slavery to Freedom in the Americas,” travels back in time to explore the diverse historical experiences and cultural practices of enslaved women and men within different Afro-Latin, Caribbean, and North American plantation societies, focusing on movements for slave emancipation, national independence, civil rights, and economic autonomy. Unit III, “Homelands, Hybridity, and Twentieth-Century Diasporas,” examines the relationships among gender and race, cultural production, and political identities. Themes include: The Black Atlantic and the Nature of Modernity; Gender, Négritude, and Black Internationalism; New World Ethnography and the Arts; Religion and Gender in Diaspora; Foodways, Film, and Cultural Resilience; Speaking Desire: Eroticism and Decolonization; and Gender, Carnival, and Historical Memory.
Course Requirements: weekly two-page papers, seminar participation and facilitation, 15-20 page research paper and presentation
Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route; Jennifer L. Morgan, Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks; Deborah Jenson, Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution; Rebecca Scott and Jean M. Hébrard, Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation; Karen McCarthy Brown, Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn; Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism; C. L. R. James, Black Jacobins; Kia Lilly Caldwell, Negras in Brazil: Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity; Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic