Course Listings

Below are the descriptions for current and upcoming undergraduate and graduate courses in American Studies and U.S. Latina/o Studies. More information is available at Testudo, including available seats for each class.

Summer 2015

AMST Courses

AMST101 Introduction to American Studies

Credit will be granted for only one of the following: AMST101 or AMST201. Formerly AMST201. Introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies by examining concepts such as culture, identity, cultural practices, and globalization, as well as theories underlying these concepts. Engages key themes, especially constructions of difference and identity, cultures of everyday life, and America and the world.

CORE Humanities (HO) Course. GenEd: Distributive Studies – Humanities; Diversity – Understanding Plural Societies.

 

AMST203 Popular Culture in America

This course examines the making of popular culture forms and practices and the ways in which people shape and negotiate cultural messages and values, economic activity, institutions, and the social relationships that underlay local, national, and international communities.  Focusing on the analytical categories of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation, the course explores popular culture as a site of cultural production and meaning making, both historical and contemporary, in the United States.

CORE Humanities (HO) Course. GenEd: Distributive Studies – Humanities; Diversity – Understanding Plural Societies.

 

AMST205 Material Aspects of American Life

 

This course introduces students to material culture, to theories, questions, and methods of studying objects and things that surround us in everyday life.  How do we use material things?  What do they mean to us?  We shall also explore how material goods and objects shape cultural ways, identities, and landscapes in contemporary America and how they intersect with such categories as race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as discourses on memory and history.

CORE History or Theory of Arts (HA) Course. GenEd: Distributive Studies – Humanities; Diversity – Understanding Plural Societies.

 

AMST298D Selected Topics in American Studies; People, Power, Place: The Story of Food

This course guides students through how to synthesize methods and theories from food studies into a critical interpretation of the food producing and consuming spaces around them. In order to develop the skills needed to understand food in the 21st century, the course is designed to give overviews of two often-separate spheres of food studies research—health sciences and the humanities. As the field of food studies continues to grapple with how these two areas can converge to comment on, interpret, or reveal important factors effecting food insecurity, students will be on the forefront of thinking about the methods best suited to make these connections in scholarship. Importantly, these interventions are within an American Studies theories that recognize how the politics of race and health, urban agriculture, and de-colonized food practices influence our definitions of food. We will examine how people define food from philosophy, natural sciences, English, and film in order to consider how all of these and not just one conception of food shapes the story of its travel, who it belongs to, and who doesn’t get regular access to it.

Students will learn methods for describing how the three pillars of the course, people (individuals, groups, and organizations), power (structures of popular influence), and place (agriculture, areas of food provisioning/consumption) work together to shape how we understand food cultures in the US and how these interconnections can be reflected in current food studies scholarship. Within each unit students are asked to produce a short multimedia based description of a food space they engage with everyday (i.e (grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers market, food bank, community garden, family/social meal, cooking class, fast food restaurant, produce stand, food truck). For the final project students will develop a scholarly article abstract and final paper. The abstract will be “submitted” to an actual editor of a foodways journal with minimal feedback that students can then integrate into their final projects.

 

AMST298L Selected Topics in American Studies; A House is Not a Home: The Politics of Homelessness and Public Housing in the U.S.

TBA

 

AMST328G Perspectives on Identity and Culture; From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: Childhood and the Politics of Safety in America

 

From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: The Politics of Childhood and Safety in America. (Summer Session: 2014). This online course will examine the ways in which children and adolescents have been understood as being “worthy of protection,” “innocent,” “resilient,” ”at-risk,” “delinquent,” “lost,” “dangerous,” and/or “endangered” based on social constructions of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, class, residence (urban, rural, suburban), and age. We will explore the ways that these labels particularly restrict youth of color’s access to: the full rights of citizenship, public spaces, and often life using Till and Martin’s stories among others as ways to understand this socio-historical trajectory of privilege and inequality among boys and girls in America.

 

AMST328Z Perspectives on Identity and Culture; Violence, Prisons, and Immigration in the 21st Century U.S.

How do social inequalities along the lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality operate in the wars on drugs and poverty in  the United States? What are the consequences when communities of color are policed through excessive and state-sanctioned violence? How are state and private entities invested in mass incarceration, detention, and deportation? This six-week, online summer course engages these questions through the examination of contemporary scholarship and current events.

 

AMST429O Perspectives on Identity and Culture; From Chiquitas to Cholas, Latin Lovers to Low-riders: Fashioning Latinidad in the U.S.

 

USLT498N/AMST429O is an online-only summer course with a focus on how fashion has historically functioned in Latina/o communities as a means of identity formation, community building, and resistance to racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and dominant narratives in the United States. As an online-only course, we’ll be using online spaces such as a course blog, video lectures, video chats, and Tumblr as our classroom.

 

USLT Course Offerings

USLT498N U.S. Latina/o Studies Special Topics: Perspectives on Popular Culture; From Chiquitas to Cholas, Latin Lovers to Low-riders: Fashioning Latinidad in the U.S.

 

USLT498N is an online-only summer course with a focus on how fashion has historically functioned in Latina/o communities as a means of identity formation, community building, and resistance to racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and dominant narratives in the United States. As an online-only course, we’ll be using online spaces such as a course blog, video lectures, video chats, and Tumblr as our classroom. Also offered as AMST429O.

 

USLT498O U.S. Latina/o Studies Special Topics: Violence, Prisons, and Immigration in the 21st Century U.S.

How do social inequalities along the lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality operate in the wars on drugs and poverty in  the United States? What are the consequences when communities of color are policed through excessive and state-sanctioned violence? How are state and private entities invested in mass incarceration, detention, and deportation? This six-week, online summer course engages these questions through the examination of contemporary scholarship and current events.

 

Fall 2015


For the most up-to-date course listings for Fall 2015, please see: https://ntst.umd.edu/soc/201508/AMST.

AMST Courses

AMST101 Introduction to American Studies

CORE Humanities (HO) Course. GenEd: Distributive Studies – Humanities; Diversity – Understanding Plural Societies.

Credit will be granted for only one of the following: AMST101 or AMST201. Formerly AMST201.

Introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies by examining concepts such as culture, identity, cultural practices, and globalization, as well as theories underlying these concepts. Engages key themes, especially constructions of difference and identity, cultures of everyday life, and America and the world.

 

AMST202 Cultures of Everyday Life in America

GenEd: Distributive Studies – History and Social Sciences

Examine the structures and patterns of everyday life in the U.S., utilizing methods such as ethnography, oral history, survey research, and textual, visual, and material cultural analysis.

 

AMST203 Popular Culture in America

CORE Humanities (HO) Course.

GenEd: Diversity – Understanding Plural Societies.

What is popular culture, how does it function, and why does it matter? Conventionally, “high culture” has been clearly distinguished from and privileged over “low culture.” High culture has enjoyed connotations of elite, at times even esoteric, importance and low culture has endured effective dismissal as something of vulgar irrelevance. But if we regard culture generally as essentially the ways in which we cultivate collective meanings about our lives and our place(s) in the world, what then might be the role of popular culture? What might be the scope and limits of a set of cultural forms that are considered to be, in their “popularity,“ commonly accessible? What possible contributions, for better and for worse, can popular forms offer to the cultivation of collective meanings in diverse American cultural contexts? Specifically, how does popular culture address the crucial notions of subjectivity and agency, notions that typically shape the parameters of meaningful life and — conversely — functional, if not actual, death? This semester, we will keep such questions in mind as we engage a variety of popular culture forms, including (but not limited to) music, film, television, and sports, with specific attention to how these forms relate to the everyday practices and beliefs of a contemporary American context. Because as participants we are, all of us, necessarily and inextricably implicated in any discussion of American popular culture, such as exploration will invoke our personal investments in the discussion. This approach will outline our terrain and provide the tools with which we can work through our questions thoughtfully, responsively, and responsibly. Through our diligent, collaborative, critical, and self-reflexive efforts, our class together will develop resources we can use to interrogate how popular culture matters to the most critical of meaning formations, the understanding of life and death.

 

AMST205 Material Aspects of American Life

CORE History or Theory of Arts (HA) Course.

GenEd: Distributive Studies – Humanities; Diversity – Understanding Plural Societies.

This course introduces students to material culture, to theories, questions, and methods of studying objects and things that surround us in everyday life. How do we use material things? What do they mean to us? We shall also explore how material goods and objects shape cultural ways, identities, and landscapes in contemporary America and how they intersect with such categories as race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as discourses on memory and history.

 

AMST207 Contemporary American Cultures

CORE Behavioral and Social Science (SB) Course. CORE Diversity (D) Course

World views, values, and social systems of contemporary American cultures explored through readings on selected groups such as middle-class suburbanites, old order Amish, and urban tramps.

 

AMST260 American Culture in the Information Age

CORE Behavioral and Social Science (SB) Course.

GenED: Distributive Studies- History and Social Science; Signature Course I-Series

Credit only granted for: AMST260 or AMST298I. Formerly: AMST298I.

What does it mean to live in an “information age?” We live in a world where data bombards us at every turn; quite literally, the ability to process information has become a defining characteristic of humanity. Access to information (or the lack thereof) has become one of the foundational aspects of contemporary American culture, redefining our relationship to space (outer, inner, and local), sexuality, community, and the body. This course asks the student to consider not only what they know, but how they know it – how is knowledge created when knowledge is everywhere? How we know what we know reflects our intersectional identities How does access to this wealth of information, these new ways of knowing shaping our lives and our understandings of self?

 

AMST298C Introduction to Asian American Studies

CORE Behavioral and Social Science (SB) Course. CORE Diversity (D) Course

Also offered as AAST200. Credit granted for AAST200 or AMST298C.

 

AMST328J Perspectives on Identity and Culture; Filipino History and Biography

Also offered ad AAST398D. Credit granted for AAST398D or AMST328J.

Focus is placed on Filipino American experiences with an emphasis on identity, community building and organizing to influence public policy We will cover pertinent events from the US and Philippine history in order to understand the impact of colonialism, migration, immigration and assimilation on Filipino Americans.

 

AMST328V Perspectives on Identity and Culture; Growing Up Asian American

Also offered as AAST398E.Credit granted for AAST398E or AMST328V.

An interdisciplinary course examines the experiences of children of Asian immigrants in the U.S., focusing on intergenerational dynamics in the Asian immigrant family, their intersections with race, gender, class, sexuality, and religion, and how these shape second-generation Asian American life. Topics include identity and personhood, the model minority myth and education, work and leisure, language and

 

AMST340 Introduction to History, Theories and Methods in American Studies

Prerequisite: Must have completed AMST201; and 2 courses in AMST. Restriction: Must be in American Studies program; and sophomore standing or higher.

Introduction to the process of interdisciplinary research, including research literatures, questions, first-hand sources and library and analytic methods in American Studies. Each student will craft a prospectus for original research.

 

AMST386 Experiential Learning

Individual Instruction

 

ASMT388 Honors Thesis

Individual Instruction

 

AMST398 Independent Studies

Individual Instruction

 

AMST418A Cultural Themes in America; African-American Visual and Material Culture

Moving from the shores of Africa to the birth of African American culture to the study of African diasporic cultural influences, this class will explore the active role of visual and material culture in the shaping and defining of identity. Our goal is to develop visual literacy as we discover the historical uses of the arts in service of the struggles for freedom and equality. Visual art, material culture, politics, popular culture, music, literature, philosophy, theater, film, poetry, and anthropology will shape the inquiry through which we examine both the diasporic dimensions of African American aesthetics and its economic exploitation in the service of global capitalism. Understanding the multi-layered impact of African American history and cultural influences on a personal, societal, and global scale will be the mission of this class.

 

AMST418H Cultural Themes in America; Cultural Themes in America-Honors

Individual Instruction

 

AMST418K Cultural Themes in America; Film and the American Landscape

Explores how representations of space in American film impact our understandings of the ways community, identity, and place intersect.

 

AMST418W Cultural Themes in America; The Multiracial Experience in the U.S.

Also offered as AMST418W. Credit granted for AAST498Y or AMST418W.

Focuses on multiracial (“mixed race”) identity and how the experiences of multiracial people contribute to our broader understanding of racial identity and formation. Course draws on literature and research produced by and about multiracial people. In addition, students will access the topic through comment boards, live chat sessions, podcasts, and multimedia. Readings and other course materials have been selected to challenge and grow students’ understandings of race and mixed race.

 

AMST428F American Cultural Eras; Myth and Memory: 1985

Also offered as AMST628G for graduate students.

What comes to mind when you think of “the eighties”?  Michael Jackson?  Madonna?  Reaganomics?  Big hair?  MTV?  AIDS?  Myth and Memory: 1985 will be a hands-on exploration of the events, experiences and cultures of America thirty years ago.  Focusing on a single year will allow us to dig deep into the era.  We will start with myths and stereotypes and then plunge into primary sources to go beyond the popular image of the period and produce our own interpretive works.  We’ll explore politics, music, entertainment, and the diverse personal experiences of our family and friends.

Throughout this active-learning course, the emphasis will be on learning and applying three methods of inquiry: material culture, oral history, and archival research.  Every student will learn all three methods, and then carry out their own semester project using one of more primary research method along with background research in the secondary literature.  The final projects will take the form of short documentaries of web-based exhibits; the necessary skills to produce both will be taught in workshops as well.  Students who have taken Myth and Memory: 1975 are welcome to take this course, and will be encouraged to share their expertise.  Graduate and honors students will be expected to take on a leadership role.

 

AMST429B Perspectives on Popular Culture; Strategies for Social Activism

This is the second semester of the College of Arts and Humanities Social Innovation Scholars Program. Students must have completed AMST429J/ARHU439J in Spring 2015 to enroll.


AMST429R Perspectives on Popular Culture; Crime and Punishment in African American Expressive Culture

This seminar helps students examine the criminalization of black freedom, black literacy, black resistance, black sexuality, black reproduction, and indeed black life as depicted and resisted in (mostly) African American expressive culture. We will address the following issues as they manifest in course materials: (1) American discourses of “crime,” “criminality,” and “criminal justice”; (2) structural and/or psychological conditions that compel some persons toward crime; (3) scenes depicting a range of criminalized practices including slave literacy, slave rebellion, sex work, sex crime, armed robbery, armed resistance, revenge killing, nonviolent protest, gang violence, driving while black, walking while black, and so on; (4) punitive processes—such as enslavement, lynching, revocation of property and rights, imprisonment, stigma, deprivation, and myriad forms of state-sanctioned murder—meted out against black transgressors; (5) the systemic, colossal crime of antiblackness in America; and (6) and black (artistic) interventions in “crime and punishment” in America. All the while, we will attend to the distinction between legality and morality.

Our interdisciplinary syllabus spans literature, cinema, music, and visual art. Materials include Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845); D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915); Richard Wright’s Native Son (1940); Billie Holiday’s Lady Sings the Blues (1956); Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965); Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987); Assata Shakur’s Assata: An Autobiography (1987); Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez on Me (1996); David Simon’s The Wire (2002-2008); Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (2012); Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station (2013), and more.

 

AMST450 Seminar in American Studies

Prerequisite: AMST201 and two additional AMST courses. Sophomore standing. For AMST majors only.

Introduction to the process of interdisciplinary research, including research literatures, questions, first-hand sources and library and analytic methods in American Studies. Each student will craft a prospectus for original research.

 

AMST498A Special Topics in American Studies; Border Crossings: People, Power, and Politics in Transnational Perspective

This course proceeds from the idea that national borders are both powerful and permeable. We will explore how multiple movements (of people, culture, capital, social relations, and social imaginaries, amongst others) across national borders and through various national spaces shapes cultures of everyday life. Drawing on readings from a wide range of academic disciplines, we will examine diverse transnational experiences, practices, and social formations from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. Our study will include how immigrants sustain family ties in and between multiple countries; how intellectuals of color forge transnational connections for radical ends; how queer subjectivities are shaped by local and global gender and sexual politics; and how transnational labor migrants struggle against the exploitative forces of globalization. By engaging in this study, we will uncover new cultural forms, politics, social imaginaries, and identities that emerge across and beyond national contexts.

In keeping with the critical approach that underwrites the interdisciplinary field of American Studies more broadly, we will track the ways that social differences—especially of race, gender, class, sexuality, and citizenship—shape individual and group identity within these transnational flows. We will also learn to use transnational analysis as a tool for critiquing the complex systems—such as capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and racism—that structure the relations between nations. Finally, by taking seriously the definition of “trans” as “across,” “beyond,” “through,” but also “changing thoroughly,” we will see how the transnational can thoroughly change our understanding of what constitutes America and American identity.


AMST498G Special Topics in American Studies; Latinas/os on the Silver Screen

Also offered as USLT498A. Credit granted for USLT498A or AMST498G.

Since the early days of moving images, the cinema has held a uniquely prominent and influential position in U.S. culture.  In pursuit of commercial reward, Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers create in their cinema not only (sometimes not even!) entertainment, but also ideas about politics and culture, which disseminate from the “silver screen” to mass audiences in the Americas and across the globe.  Embedded in a culture in which race was and is always an issue, the U.S. film industry remains a crucial arena in which representations of ethnoracial identity and its relationship to national identity are produced, interpreted, debated, and reconceived.  Beginning with the era of silent film and concluding with contemporary films, this course explores the ambiguous and shifting history of U.S. Latinas/os both behind and in front of the camera.  Combining media theory and film history, we will consider the film industry’s relationship to Latinidad, examining issues such as the shift from silent film to sound, the impact made on Latino/a images by the Second World War and the “good neighbor” era, and Latinas/os in the Cold War Red Scare.  In these periods, representational power remained chiefly in the hands of white Hollywood producers, and Latinos/as (most often Mexican Americans) were subject to a series of demeaning representational strategies.  As we move into the second half of the course, we will turn attention to self-representation by Latina/o filmmakers and empathetic images created by whites in and after the 1970s. How have Latinas/os been depicted in Hollywood history?  How have inter-American foreign relations shaped the US Latino/a image?  How have Latina/o filmmakers confronted issues such as racism and sexism in the United States?  Students will explore these issues throughout the semester, and in doing so gain insight into both Latina/o racial formations and the practice of film criticism.

 

AMST498L Special Topics in American Studies; Native Americans and U.S. Cinema

Beginning with the silent era and continuing to the present, the class will examine representations both by and about Native Americans, exploring how film has defined and redefined Native American identity in U.S. history and culture.  The course includes films directed by Native Americans and with Native American actors.

 

AMST498N Special Topics in American Studies; Citizens, Immigrants, and Refugees

Also offered as USLT498I. Credit granted for AMST498N or USLT498I.

This course critically engages with notions of exclusion and inclusion within the United States through citizenship, immigration, and refugee status.  These are the guiding categories because Latina/o communities and, indeed, any community is defined through these divisions.  We begin by learning about the categories of race, gender, and citizenship in order to have a common starting-off point as well as to understand why these have been so important to the U.S. nation-state.  We then move on to understand the difference between race and racial formation and learn about an ideology that has been a driving force in U.S. history.

 

AMST498O Special Topics in American Studies; The Diversifying U.S.: Globalization, Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees

Also offered as USLT498K. Credit granted for AMST498O or USLT498K

This course critically engages with the ebbs and flows of globalization.  While often talked about as a recent phenomenon and one focused on capital, the process has a longer history and its consequences move far beyond the financial sector.  In this class we will explore the web of connections, relationships, and consequences of globalization and learn how regions, places, and people are shaped by it and in turn shape it—sometimes in unexpected ways.  In order to have a strong foundation of what globalization is and how it’s constituted, we’re going to explore the various ways scholars have defined and theorized the process and its consequences.  Although this class has a United States and Latina/o focus, we will also move beyond the U.S. borders and talk about other immigrant and refugee groups that live and work in the same neighborhoods and workplaces in which Latinas/os live and toil.

 

AMST601 Introductory Theories and History in American Studies

Restriction: Must not be a Graduate Advanced Special Student.

AMST 601 is the initial course of a two-course sequence introducing graduate students to some of the literature — from the field, the discipline, and beyond — that has shaped and reshaped Americans’ Studies over time.  In this course, we focus on the theories and paradigms, or conceptual frameworks, evident in scholarly work through the mid-1990s.  By concentrating on the historiography of Americans’ Studies and on the theoretical directions and assumptions of scholars, this course should help you to understand the making of theories in American Studies and, of course, the making of American Studies before the turn of the century.  Reading and thinking about this “early” scholarship should also prepare you for the contemporary theories and literature that are the focus of AMST 603 (Current Approaches to American Studies).

 

AMST628G Seminar in American Studies; Myth and Memory: 1985

Also offered as AMST428F for undergraduate students.

What comes to mind when you think of “the eighties”?  Michael Jackson?  Madonna?  Reaganomics?  Big hair?  MTV?  AIDS?  Myth and Memory: 1985 will be a hands-on exploration of the events, experiences and cultures of America thirty years ago.  Focusing on a single year will allow us to dig deep into the era.  We will start with myths and stereotypes and then plunge into primary sources to go beyond the popular image of the period and produce our own interpretive works.  We’ll explore politics, music, entertainment, and the diverse personal experiences of our family and friends.

Throughout this active-learning course, the emphasis will be on learning and applying three methods of inquiry: material culture, oral history, and archival research.  Every student will learn all three methods, and then carry out their own semester project using one of more primary research method along with background research in the secondary literature.  The final projects will take the form of short documentaries of web-based exhibits; the necessary skills to produce both will be taught in workshops as well.  Students who have taken Myth and Memory: 1975 are welcome to take this course, and will be encouraged to share their expertise.  Graduate and honors students will be expected to take on a leadership role.

 

AMST628Q Seminar in American Studies; Cultural Politics of Work and Labor

This seminar examines cultural politics—including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship—in relation to various regimes of work and modes of labor from the 19th century to the present. We will apply political economic analysis, critical theories of difference, and understandings of class relations to the study of work and labor at various points in the history of capitalism. We will look in particular at slavery in the U.S.; immigration, labor, and the state in the early to mid-20th century; neoliberalism and the crisis in social reproduction; and postindustrial “productivism” in the information age.

 

AMST629K Seminar in American Studies; Gentrification and the Politics of Displacement

TBA

 

AMST698 Directed Readings in American Studies

Individual Instruction Course

 

AMST798 Non-Thesis Research

Individual Instruction Course

 

AMST799 Master’s Thesis Research

Individual Instruction Course

 

AMST898 Pre-Candidacy Research

Individual Instruction Course

 

AMST899 Doctoral Dissertation Research

Individual Instruction Course

 

 

For the most up-to-date course listings for Fall 2015, please see: https://ntst.umd.edu/soc/201508/USLT.

USLT Course Offerings

USLT201 U.S. Latina/o Studies I: An Historical Overview to the 1960′s

Core; Social and Political History, Diversity

Interdisciplinary course focusing on demographics, terminology and social constructs of race, class, ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, and sexuality associated with the historical and political roots of US Latinidades. Examines the formation, evolution an adaptation of US Latina/o communities as critical field of inquiry.

 

USLT498A US Latina/o Studies: Special Topics; Latinas/os on the Silver Screen

Also offered as AMST498G. Credit granted for USLT498A or AMST498G.

Since the early days of moving images, the cinema has held a uniquely prominent and influential position in U.S. culture.  In pursuit of commercial reward, Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers create in their cinema not only (sometimes not even!) entertainment, but also ideas about politics and culture, which disseminate from the “silver screen” to mass audiences in the Americas and across the globe.  Embedded in a culture in which race was and is always an issue, the U.S. film industry remains a crucial arena in which representations of ethnoracial identity and its relationship to national identity are produced, interpreted, debated, and reconceived.  Beginning with the era of silent film and concluding with contemporary films, this course explores the ambiguous and shifting history of U.S. Latinas/os both behind and in front of the camera.  Combining media theory and film history, we will consider the film industry’s relationship to Latinidad, examining issues such as the shift from silent film to sound, the impact made on Latino/a images by the Second World War and the “good neighbor” era, and Latinas/os in the Cold War Red Scare.  In these periods, representational power remained chiefly in the hands of white Hollywood producers, and Latinos/as (most often Mexican Americans) were subject to a series of demeaning representational strategies.  As we move into the second half of the course, we will turn attention to self-representation by Latina/o filmmakers and empathetic images created by whites in and after the 1970s. How have Latinas/os been depicted in Hollywood history?  How have inter-American foreign relations shaped the US Latino/a image?  How have Latina/o filmmakers confronted issues such as racism and sexism in the United States?  Students will explore these issues throughout the semester, and in doing so gain insight into both Latina/o racial formations and the practice of film criticism.

 

USLT498I US Latina/o Studies: Special Topics; Citizens, Immigrants, and Refugees

Also offered as AMST498N. Credit granted for AMST498N or USLT498I.

This course critically engages with notions of exclusion and inclusion within the United States through citizenship, immigration, and refugee status.  These are the guiding categories because Latina/o communities and, indeed, any community is defined through these divisions.  We begin by learning about the categories of race, gender, and citizenship in order to have a common starting-off point as well as to understand why these have been so important to the U.S. nation-state.  We then move on to understand the difference between race and racial formation and learn about an ideology that has been a driving force in U.S. history.

 

USLT498K US Latina/o Studies: Special Topics; The Diversifying U.S.: Globalization, Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees

Also offered as AMST498O. Credit granted for AMST498O or USLT498K

This course critically engages with the ebbs and flows of globalization.  While often talked about as a recent phenomenon and one focused on capital, the process has a longer history and its consequences move far beyond the financial sector.  In this class we will explore the web of connections, relationships, and consequences of globalization and learn how regions, places, and people are shaped by it and in turn shape it—sometimes in unexpected ways.  In order to have a strong foundation of what globalization is and how it’s constituted, we’re going to explore the various ways scholars have defined and theorized the process and its consequences.  Although this class has a United States and Latina/o focus, we will also move beyond the U.S. borders and talk about other immigrant and refugee groups that live and work in the same neighborhoods and workplaces in which Latinas/os live and toil.