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Courses

Spring 2018

 

ASCP 81000: Introduction to American Studies: Situating Movement Methods, Wednesday, 4:15-6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits, Professor Natalie Havlin
This course aims to resolve and interconnect the manifold dimensions of movement as an analytical and methodological framework for American Studies. American Studies scholarship on nation formation and im/migration – as well as the study of U.S. social justice struggles – has long been animated by a concern with the ways that people, ideas, texts, and goods circulate. American Studies research has also investigated movement as a key component in the management and control of people and resources through U.S. colonialisms, systems of racial capitalism, imperialism, enslavement, forced labor, incarceration, and militarized borders.

This course will begin by examining frameworks of im/mobility and stasis in American Studies scholarship that traces the relationship of im/migration to settler colonialism, slavery, and U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean, the Pacific, Central America and Southeast Asia. Then we will explore movement as a performative method and corporeal analytic to understand embodied experience in relation to structural social inequalities along co-constitutive axes of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. In this portion of the class we will pay special attention to American Studies scholarship about corporeal ways of knowing and expression that engage disability justice frameworks, U.S. Women of Color and Third World feminist theory, and queer of color critique. The course will conclude by considering the methodological limits and political possibilities of attending to the complex material, spatial, temporal, and corporeal dimensions of movement within indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, and Black diasporic struggles for sovereignty and justice that cross, and contest, U.S. borders.
 


COURSES OF INTEREST

HIST 72200: Readings in U.S. Cultural History: War, Culture, and Culture Wars, Thursday, 2:00-4:00pm, Room TBA , Professor David Waldstreicher   
This readings seminar, offered periodically, ranges broadly across U.S. history from the colonial period to the present. This year’s theme is culture wars as an approach to understanding the role of culture in U.S. history, including war.
 
During the mid to late twentieth century historians came to see culture, in the form of ideals or ideologies, myths, and rituals, as what held the American nation together. More recently they are at least as likely to trace the roots and evolution of conflicts that are understood in terms of cultural differences. Similarly, US history has been seen as profoundly shaped by war-inspired consensus – or on the other hand marked by divisive wars that were caused by essential conflicts and which may have exacerbated conflict. What does it mean to characterize the culture of particular eras and as marked by war, by war’s aftermath, or by culture war? What is the relationship between how Americans see their culture(s) -- or culture itself -- and how they answer these questions? How have international contexts shape the vicissitudes of cultural conflict, consensus, and a long succession of wars? Does the analysis of culture as conflict akin to war, or as unifying like war, and of wars’ cultural dimensions helpfully inform narratives of history, of politics, and of real wars in the past? Is war an appropriate metaphor -- or is it a euphemism -- for the work of culture in a country made by war? Finally, what was and is the role of memory in a culture and history periodized by wars?
 
In addition to active participation, students will be expected to complete and present to the seminar a project that (1) charts scholarly developments in one subfield and period of cultural history and (2) brings to the seminar a primary source that may be especially useful to teachers or curators or citizens in the future.
 


Students taking courses offered through other units that are appropriate to ASCP 81500/Themes in American Culture or ASCP 82000/American Culture: Major Periods, may have them counted toward completion of the certificate program by sending the course details (name, title, instructor(s), and course description) to americanstudies@gc.cuny.edu


Fall 2017

 

ASCP 81500: Themes in American Culture: The Black Freedom Movement in the US, Wednesday, 2:00-4:00pm, Room 6494, 3 credits, Professor Robyn Spencer

The emergence of the movement for Black Lives in the past 5 years has moved racial justice in America to center stage and resulted in wide scale re-examination of the impact and legacy of the Black freedom movement of the post WWII period. This course will examine the major campaigns, personalities, organizations and guiding themes of the civil rights and Black Power movement.  In particular, we will analyze the major historical interpretive debates about the Civil Rights/Black Power movements and place the movements in the broader context of Cuban independence, the Cold War, the US war in Vietnam and  African liberation movements. A close examination of the intersections between the Black freedom movement and the new left, women’s movement, and anti-war movement will broaden how the movement is traditionally conceptualized and foreground the movement’s anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal and anti-imperial engagements. We will also examine the afterlives and historical memory of these movements and how they continue to animate the contemporary political landscape.
 

 

Instead of producing the usual long lists of courses that will count towards the certificate, we have set up a new system:

Students taking courses offered through other units that are appropriate to ASCP 81500/Themes in American Culture or ASCP 82000/American Culture: Major Periods, may have them counted toward completion of the certificate program by sending the course details (name, title, instructor(s), and course description) to americanstudies@gc.cuny.edu