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Program Courses

AMST 423 History of American Architecture

(Cross-listed as ARCH 473)

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: This course carries an oral communication focus designation (O).

Students will be required to make a significant oral contribution to the class. This will involve active discussion of readings and presentation of ideas as well as a formal oral presentation of their term paper in the context of an “architect/client” presentation. In addition, students will give two short presentations on current events in architecture. The oral communication focus will enable students to prepare for careers in architecture, planning, American Studies and other fields. Students will be encouraged to use audio and/or visual aids to assist in their presentations.

AMST 474 Preservation: Hawai‘i, Asia and the Pacific

Course description: This 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.

Course Requirements: This course carries an oral communication focus designation (O).Students will be required to make a significant oral contribution to the class. This will involve active discussion of readings and presentation of ideas as well as a formal oral presentation of their term paper. In addition, students will give two short presentations: these are a book report and a “regional report” on the geography and cultural and heritage resources of a particular region in the Asia-Pacific area. The oral communication focus will enable students to prepare for careers in tourism, heritage conservation and management, architecture, planning, American Studies and other fields. Students will be encouraged to use audio and/or visual aids to assist in their presentations.

ANTH 645 Historic Preservation

Course Description: Historic and cultural resources are now covered by a raft of federal and local historic preservation laws. The intent of these laws is to protect and to encourage the wise management and preservation of these significant resources. In the first part of the seminar, the various laws and associated regulations together with their combined impact on historic properties will be presented and discussed. In the second half of the course, we assess and critique the various components of historic preservation, including concepts and ethics as they apply to historic preservation.

 Course Requirements: Students are expected to actively participate in each class meeting. There is a midterm exam following the first part of the course; students undertake a written research project pertaining to historic preservation during the latter half of the class.

AMST 675  Preservation: Theory and Practice

(Cross-listed as ARCH 628 and PLAN 675)

Course Description: This 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, together with short field exercises and a 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. The course includes a mid-term exam, submission of the results of the field exercise and preparation of a National Register nomination, which will substitute for a term paper, and a Final Exam.

AMST 676  Recording Historic and Cultural Resources

(Cross-listed as ARCH 676 and PLAN 676)

Course Description: The course is intended to familiarize students with the basic techniques used in the recording and evaluation of historic buildings and other cultural features. Emphasis will be on field survey methods, the compilation of inventories, and evaluations of significance and/or integrity. Students will become familiar with State of Hawai‘i’s own survey and registration process, with both inventories and methodologies for field surveys of cultural resources in other states and countries, and will also be introduced to the requirements of the National Register of Historic Places Program of the federal government. There will be further introductions to basic architectural and other historic resource descriptive terminology, methods of researching the history and contexts of historic properties, and some training in the preparation of site plans.

Course Requirements: Students will be required to complete a short preparatory exercise, either involving the compilation of research materials or a brief synopsis of research (approximately 10 pages); and to participate in a relatively extensive field exercise. As a lecture/laboratory (or studio/practicum) course, students will be expected to devote at least 3 hours a week to the field component of the project. There will also be weekly reading assignments and short exercises, several quizzes, as well as classroom presentations.

AMST 677 Historic Preservation Planning

(Cross-listed as PLAN 677)

Course Description: Local-level historic preservation, with an emphasis on historic districts, design guidelines, regulatory controls and community consensus-building. Methods and approaches in the identification and regulation of historic districts and landmarks. Taught as a combination of lectures, discussions and field exercises, the course will provide students with an understanding of how to survey historic districts, establish boundaries, draft design guidelines and write local preservation ordinances. Emphasis will be placed on legal considerations, community concerns, including the problem of displacement, and the regulatory process.

Course Requirements: The course is delivered in a combined lecture, discussion and field exercise format. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, participate in class discussions and contribute to a class project focusing on a local community. Students will be given weekly reading assignments, research tasks and field exercises. The final product will be a class report to which each student is expected to contribute. There will be also short midterm and final examinations.

Recommended Prerequisites: Historic Preservation; Survey and Theory (AmSt 675) and Recording Historic Resources (AmSt 676). Cultural Resource Management (Anth 645), History of American Architecture (AmST 623), and The American City (AmSt 627) would also be useful prior courses, but are not required.

AMST 679  Elements of Style

(Cross-listed as ARCH 679)

Course Description: The course is an in-depth examination of the manifestations, visual characteristics and social/cultural meaning of “style” in American architecture and decorative arts from the early settlement period through the present. The course covers the basic issues, such as “what is style?” (or is there such a thing as “style”?), the terminology of architectural description and the persistence of classical tradition in both architecture and furniture and furnishings. Students will be introduced to the full range of “style” terminology and also to specialized terminology for architectural and decorative components. The course will trace not only furnishings but the “assemblage” of parts, particularly for interiors through which a sense of “style” is conveyed. The course is seen as a complement to AmSt 681, American Vernacular Traditions, which treats more persistent formal characteristics of architecture. Nonetheless, the “vernacular” meanings of stylistic expression are not ignored. The course will also introduce students to some of the key architects, furniture makers, and decorators in each period, though the emphasis will remain on more anonymous expressions. One or more field trips will also be scheduled.

Course Requirements: The course combines lectures and in-class discussions with a research project/paper (see above). 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. The course includes a short quiz, a mid-term exam, the research project/paper and its presentation in class, and a final exam.

AMST 680 Historic Building Technology

Course Description: History of buildings, building technologies, materials, and finishes, including construction techniques and methods of investigating older buildings, with an emphasis on North American building practices c.1600-c.1960.
Course Requirements:  The course combines lectures and in-class discussions with a research project/paper (see above). 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. The course includes a short quiz, a mid-term exam, the research project/paper and its presentation in class, and a final exam

Recommended Prerequisites: Historic Preservation; Survey and Theory (AmSt 675, PLAN 675 or ARCH 628).

AMST 681 American Vernacular Traditions

(Cross-listed as ARCH 650)

Course Description: The course will introduce students 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.

The course combines lectures and seminars. Lectures will provide a broad overview of the field, as well as a chronological treatment of the development of American vernacular architectural forms. The seminar portion of the course will emphasize problems and approaches in vernacular architectural studies. Topics will include: diffusionism, environmental factors, and cultural factors. The “linguistic” model for analyzing vernacular forms will also be treated.

Course Requirements: Students will be expected to attend class regularly and participate in classroom discussions; write and present a 5-6 page report and a 8-10 page research paper, short midterm and final examination.

AMST 695 Historic Preservation Practicum/Internship

Course Description: The Practicum/Internship is the final requirement for the Certificate in Historic Preservation. It is restricted to students enrolled in the Historic Preservation Certificate 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 on-going 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:

Course Options: 
The course offers two principal options: one, a formal internship with an approved preservation-related organization; or two, a research project, determined in consultation with the Director of the Historic Preservation Program. Briefly, Option One [internship] requires at least 320 hours (eight weeks) of work, either paid or volunteer, for an approved preservation-related organization and a written report of approximately 10 pages (2,500 words) and formal presentation on activities. Option Two can be considered as a “mini-thesis,” requiring approximately the same expenditure of time and effort. Those taking Option Two [research project] are encouraged to pick a topic of a practical or “applied” character and are also required to make a formal presentation of their work, along with a substantially longer written report. Typically, an Option Two [research project] would require a paper of approximately 50 pages (12,000-15,000 words).

It must be emphasized that American Studies 695, Practicum/Internship, is intended to represent a substantial contribution to the historic preservation field. Students are expected to carry out the work in a timely and professional manner and to view the process as a rigorous and formal one. In essence, Option One candidates are expected to present the results of an intensive internship in the field. Option Two candidates will complete what might be considered as a short thesis. Students are expected to use slides, overhead transparencies and other visual aids to present their work in a professional manner. All written material submitted shall be neatly typed and illustrated as deemed necessary to the project chosen. Students should consult the Chicago Manual of Style (and various research aids) for this work. All footnotes, endnotes and bibliographic entries shall be completed in accordance with the Chicago Manual.

AMST 696 Preservation Field Study (offered every summer)

NOTE: This is a “generic” syllabus; it is updated annually for the particular location/area studied to include specific topics, instructors/speakers, dates, times, field trips, etc. The final syllabus for each summer’s program is available in the Spring upon request.

Course Description: The 6-credit hour Preservation Field Study (Field School) has offered training in historic preservation focusing on the Pacific region every summer since 1991, examining a different venue’s historic sites and other cultural resources.

The Field School is of interest to students and professionals in architecture, art history, archaeology, anthropology, geography, historic preservation, planning and related fields. Previous drafting talent or experience, while desirable, is not required.
The program offers students both theoretical and practical experience. The first portion consists of lectures, study tours, exercises, field work and the beginning of the project work, while the final portion is devoted exclusively to project work. The typical schedule features classroom lectures and field exercises Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and field-trips on most Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The pace of the Field School is necessarily intense and to keep up with and get the most from the program, diligent effort and wise use of time is required.

Course Requirements: Participants are expected to do assigned readings. There will be several short individual and team exercises, as well as group project(s). As noted above, the program is comprehensive and concentrated. Working effectively and harmoniously within a group context and environment is an essential and critical aspect of the course. Students will be evaluated both on their group and individual performance. Drawing and drafting is a significant element of the course. Previous experience is recommended and highly useful, but is not required. While a participant’s best effort is expected, experience, or lack thereof, in this area will be taken into account.