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Spring 2015



Course descriptions for SPRING 2015

Complete list of Spring 2015 AMST courses available here

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.

Required Text(s):

  • Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African
  • Spiegelman, Art.  Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale
  • Spiegelman, Art.  Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale
  • Stannard, David.  American Holocaust

AMST 201 (W) » An American Experience – Institutions and Movements 

Instructor: Pahole Sookkasikon

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 sources (such as laws, 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. 

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, 96826
  • **Additional readings will be posted on the course website 

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

Instructor: Logan Narikawa

Course Description: This course examines various types of American culture and arts.  It introduces students to different types of primary materials (such as novels, short stories, films, music, photography, TV dramas, cultural performances, etc.) and to diverse methods of analyzing such materials.  This class will illuminate the inseparable relationship between American culture and history: especially, we will pay attention to how the power hierarchy (gender, race, class, etc.) in a specific time period gives influence to American culture and arts.  Also, this class will focus on the theme of “home” in American culture.  How is “home” represented in each culture, and how is the significance of “home” in one culture different from others?  This class will aim to answer such questions.

Course Requirements: 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.

Required Text(s):

  • Twain, Mark.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Other texts will be updated in Laulima

AMST 211 (W) » Contemporary American Domestic Issues

Instructor: Leanne Sims 

Course Description: American Studies 211 explores contemporary American domestic issues. While many topics fall under the “contemporary American domestic issues” umbrella, for this course we will look closely and critically at capitalism, environmentalism, and foodways. We will approach these topics in relation to one another and in relation to larger domestic concerns, such as social and economic inequalities. This course will draw heavily on books, films, social media, primary sources (such as government documents, advertisements, and recorded interviews), and our own personal experiences.

Rather than sitting in “lecture” this course is seminar-like, which means students are expected to discuss the reading and intellectually engage with their peers. Attendance and participation are mandatory. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

Required Text(s):

  • Clements, Jeffrey.  Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do
  • Ozeki, Ruth.  All Over Creation
  • Zehner, Ozzie.  Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Environmentalism and the Future of Environmentalism
  • Additional texts on Laulima

AMST 212 (W) » Contemporary American Global Issues

Instructor: Tomoaki Morikawa

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 analyze how globalization has impacted and changed society. Key concepts for this course will include, but will not 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):

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

AMST 301  » Hip Hop & American Culture

Instructor: David Goldberg

Course Description: Survey tracing hip-hop from its Afro-Carribean 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 M. 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 318 (E) » Asian America

Instructor: Joyce Mariano

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. 

Required Text(s):

  • Bulosan, Carlos.  America is in the Heart: A Personal History
  • Soga, Yasutaro.  Life Behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei

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 344 » American 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 American Design

Instructor: Will Temple

Course Description:  Design is an 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 a 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 (W) » Culture and Arts in America: Survey

Instructor: Mari Yoshihara

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!

Required Text(s):

No books required 

AMST 360 » American Cinema

Instructor: Jonna Eagle

Course Description:  American Cinema (formerly AMST 250: American Film History) explores the social and cultural development of American cinema from the origins of moving pictures to the latest blockbuster. We’ll screen popular films from a range of genres and periods–including the gangster film, the musical, film noir, melodrama, the western, and the action cinema–with particular attention to how these films work to shape understandings of contemporary social issues and identities. In addition to a knowledge of U.S. film history, students will be introduced to different approaches to the study of film, and a new critical vocabulary through which to analyze onscreen images. The course fulfills a W focus requirement.

Course Requirements: Requirements for this course include weekly film screenings, a film journal, two critical response papers, and a final exam, in addition to regular attendance and participation in class discussion.

Required Text(s):

  • Corrigan, Timothy.  A Short Guide to Writing About Film
  • Additional readings available on Laulima 

AMST 382 » Junior Seminar (Research Major) 

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):

  • Baldoz, Rick.  The Third Asiatic Invasion: Migration and Empire in Filipino America
  • Doss, Erika.  Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America
  • Walker, Isaiah.  Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawaii
  • Wu, Cynthia.  Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture

AMST 411 (O) » Japanese Americans: Research Topics

Instructor: Dennis M. Ogawa

Course Description:  Ethnic identity and Japanese media. Comparative study of American and Japanese media as related to Japanese American ethnic identity. 

Course Requirements:

  1. Final: Written/Oral: 30%
  2. Two Oral Communication Assignments (30% each=60%) (Regarding Japanese films screened in class and insights on Japanese identity)
  3. Class Discussions: 10%

Required Text(s):

Various online readings 

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 456 (W) » Art of the United States (Crosslisted as Art 472 W) 

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.

Required Text(s):

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

AMST 457 (E,W) » Museum Interpretations (Cross-listed as ART 481)

Instructor: Karen Kosasa

Course Description: This course focuses on the interpretive practices of museums and related institutions in the continental U.S., Hawai‘i, and other parts of the world. Museum exhibitions can become sites of public controversies and battles over the “politics of representation.” Individual viewers or whole communities may feel that a particular display undermines “traditional family values” or inappropriately challenges long-held beliefs about a nation’s history. Others may feel that a curator’s interpretive framework inadvertently denigrates a minority community or overlooks the importance of ethnic, racial, class, gender, or sexual differences. Thus, museum professionals must carefully consider and examine the ethical dimensions of their institutional practices. Through readings on a wide range of related subjects, brief lectures, discussions, field trips, and writing assignments, the class will engage with theoretical, historical, ethical, and practical issues. Students will develop skills to analyze interpretive programs as well as practice writing labels and developing didactic materials for visitors. The course is structured to weave back and forth between the study of three distinct but related activities: 1) the interpretation or representation of objects and phenomena by museum professionals, 2) the reception of the interpretative materials by museum visitors, and 3) the ethical implications of the interpretive materials produced by museums. Museums are dependent on staff members who combine strong conceptual, analytical, research, and writing skills, along with creative problem-solving abilities and a knowledge of the contemporary ethical issues facing the profession. Multiple opportunities to develop these skills and abilities will be available throughout the semester. Students who take this course may be inspired to work within museums in the future as professionals or volunteers; to develop projects as artists; or to participate in programs as informed visitors and patrons.

Course Requirements:

  • In-class: Learning Log Entries
  • Three 1-2 page: Interpretive Exhibition Texts 
  • Four 2 page papers: Response Papers, Interpretive Exhibition Critiques 
  • One 3 page Critical Paper (plus rewrite of this paper) 
  • One 1 page Peer Review of critical paper 
  • One 1/2 page Final Project Proposal Final Project: Development of an exhibition proposal, narrative tour, research paper or related project. This project must be well researched and related to the class material. Students are expected to submit a written proposal to initiate the project and make an oral presentation

Required Text(s):

  • Luke, Timothy. Museum Politics: Power Plays at the Exhibition. 
  • Serrell, Beverly. Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach. 
  • Course Reader. (Instructions for purchasing the reader will be given in class.) 

AMST 474 (O-Focus) » Preservation: Hawaii, Asia, and the Pacific (Cross-listed as ARCH 474)

Instructor: Dr. William Chapman

Course Description: This O-focused course is an overview of issues in conservation and historic preservation facing peoples of Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific.  The course covers the range of historic and cultural resources found in the region, steps taken in the past to preserve these resources and present threats to their preservation.  Issues of past colonial interventions, the rights of indigenous peoples to have a say in what is preserved and how, and the means by which traditional cultures might best be saved and recognized are treated in detail throughout the course.

Although significant emphasis is placed upon examples of tangible cultural and historic resources-buildings, structures, landscapes, and archaeological sites-more recently identified cultural preservation issues, as embedded in language, food, ceremonies, and other cultural practices, will also feature in course readings, lectures, and discussion.

Course Requirements:

Readings/discussions (O-focus): 10% (O-focus 5%)
Book report (O-focus): 20% (O-focus 10%)
Country/Regional Reports (O-focus): 20% (O-focus 10%)
Mid-term exam: 10%
Research paper/Final Pres. (O-focus): 30% (O-focus 15%)
Final exam: 10%

Required Text(s):

  • Norman tyler.  Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice, 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2009.  
  • UNESCO Office Bangkok and Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific; University of Hawai‘i (USA). School of Travel Industry Management, IMPACT: The Effects of Tourism on Culture and the Environment in Asia and the Pacific; Tourism and Heritage Site Management, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, Bangkok: UNESCO Office Bangkok, 2004. Available on line. 
  • COURSE READER on-line on Laulima
  • Bannick, Nancy and David Cheever. A Close Call: Saving Chinatown. Honolulu: Hawaii Architectural Foundation and Historic Hawaii Foundation 2005. Reserve. Available on Laulima 

AMST 481 (W) » Senior Research Seminar (Restriction: Major)

Instructor: Jeffrey Tripp

Course Description: This course guides American Studies majors to complete their senior capstone projects. Students who have designed their projects 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. 

Course Requirements: 

Participation 20%; Draft assignments 30%; Oral presentation 10%; Final paper 40%

Required Text(s):

No books required 

AMST 602 » Patterns of American Cultures

Instructor: Robert Perkinson

Course Description: American cultural origins and development. Civil war to present.

Required Text(s):


AMST 645 » Historic Preservation (Cross-listed as ANTH 645)

Instructor: Dr. William Chapman

Course Description: This course serves graduate students in the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation program and students in Anthropology, Geography, History, Planning, Architecture, Tourism and any other field with an emphasis on Cultural Heritage Management and Historic Preservation.  It also serves students in the Applied Archaeology and Anthropology programs in the Department of Anthropology.  The focus of the course is federal, state and local historic preservation laws and their impacts on the protection and recording of historic and cultural sites.  A major component will be the existing series of federal laws and Hawai‘i State laws pertaining to cultural resource management.  The course will also discuss case law, particularly zoning and land-use laws, as they impact historic preservation in Hawai‘i and elsewhere.

The course includes lectures, student presentations, videos, guest speakers and discussion.  Students will be expected to contribute strongly to the class sessions, making presentations on the existing laws and completing a term paper and class presentation.  There is also a take-home Mid-Term Exam.

Course Requirements:

Participation: 15%
Short presentations: 15%
Book Report: 20%
Midterm: 15%
Project and Final Presentation: 35%

Required Text (s):

  • U.S. National Park Service. Federal Historic Preservation Laws:  The Official Compilation of U.S. Cultural Heritage Statutes. Washington, D.D. National Park Service, 2006. (Available on-line)
  • Thalia Lani Ma’a. Laws of Historic Preservation in Hawai‘i: Kanawai Mau Mo‘olelo. Honolulu: Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 1998.
  • Thomas F, King.  Cultural Resource Laws and Practice. 3rd ed. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Altamira Press, 2008

AMST 677 » Historic Preservation Planning 

Instructor: William Chapman

Course Description: This is a graduate seminar class in issues revolving around historic districts and communities in the U.S. and elsewhere n the world.  Historic districts and conservation areas, focused on small towns and also on historic quarters of larger cities, has been a primary activity in the field of historic preservation/conservation since the inception of the discipline in the 19th century.

This course is an effort to bring this history and the many aspects of historic town and district management into perspective.  The course is based on an overview of regional national practices and also on readings in the field.  In addition, students are expected to bring their knowledge to bear on a specific site used throughout the course as a case study.

Course Requirements:

Participation: 20%
Book report: 20%
Short presentations: 30%
Research paper: 40%

Required Text(s):

  • Bannick, Nancy and David Cheever. A Close Call: Saving Chinatown. Honolulu: Hawaii Architectural Foundation and Historic Hawaii Foundation 2005. Will be posted on Laulima.
  • Tyler, Norman. Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice. New York: Norton, 2009. Order on Amazon.
  • Chapman, William. Madison Preservation Manual. Madison, Georgia: Nu-Art, 1991. Available on-line at
  • IMPACT: Tourism and Heritage Site Management in the World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang. Bangkok: UNESCO, 2005. Available on-line @

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

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.

Required Text(s):


AMST 695 » Historic Preservation Practicum (Restriction: Major)

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.

Required Text(s):