Course Information Spring 2008 American Studies for the Twenty-First Century AMS 2341.001 Tues. & Thurs. 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. CBW 1.105
Professor Contact Information Dr. Erin A. Smith School of General Studies Office: GR 2.208 Phone: (972) 883-2338 e-mail: [email protected]
web site: http://www.utdallas.edu/~erins Office Hours: Tues. 1 – 2:15 p.m Wed. 3:30- 5 p.m. and by appointment T, W, Th
This course introduces students to reading, writing, and discussion about American literary and historical texts from the 18th century to the present. The course surveys some of the most exciting recent work in 5 major areas: religion and politics; transnationalism; gender and sexuality; class, labor, and consumption; race and ethnicity. It examines debates from America’s founding about requirements for citizenship and the place of women, blacks, and the poor in the new republic; questions about immigration, race, and citizenship from the 19th and 20th centuries; novels by ethnic writers laying claim to the American dream and critiquing the failures of democracy; working-class ideas about the ways roles as workers, consumers, and citizens are related; popular texts illuminating the relationship between religion, politics, and commerce in the twentieth century; and the ways globalization requires re-imagining national, gender, and class identities. Students will learn: (1) to situate contemporary debates on these issues in larger historical and theoretical contexts; (2) to evaluate arguments and evidence critically; and (3) to be close readers of historical, literary and visual texts.
Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes
1. 2. Students will be able to analyze works of American literature closely. Students will be able to describe the history behind contemporary social, political, and cultural debates, and become educated participants in those debates.
Students will be able to explain the ways race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality shape individuals, institutions, and culture.
Required Textbooks and Materials
Hannah Foster, The Coquette (1797) James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912, 1927) Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows (1925) (edited by Richard Fried) Vera Caspary, Bedelia (1945) Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior (1975) Walter La Feber, Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism (2002) Matthew Frye Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (1998) Selected readings on e-reserve at
All texts are available at the UTD Bookstore and at Off-campus books.
Assignments & Academic Calendar
Tues. 8 Jan. – Intro. to Course
What is a citizen?
Gender and Sexuality in the Early Republic and Beyond Thurs. 10 Jan. Linda Kerber, “The Republican Mother: Women and the Enlightenment—An American Perspective” American Quarterly 28.2 (summer 1976): 187-205 (e-reserve) Davidson, Cathy, chap. 4, “Literacy, Education, and the Reader” in Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (New York: Oxford UP, 1986): 55-79 (e-reserve) **Tues. 15 Jan.
Foster, The Coquette, pp. 1- 114 (finish it if you can, it’s short) Thurs. 17 Jan.
Foster, The Coquette, pp. 114-end
Tues. 22 Jan. -- lecture: separate spheres / the cult of true womanhood Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, “The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations Between Women in Nineteenth-Century America,” rpt. in The Signs Reader: Women, Gender and Scholarship, ed. Elizabeth Abel and Emily K Abel. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983): 27-55 (e-reserve)
Religion / Politics / Commerce Thurs. 24 Jan. Gail Bederman, “’The Women Have Had Charge of the Church Work Long Enough’: The Men and Religion Forward Movement of 1911-1912 and the Masculinization of Middle-Class Protestantism,” American Quarterly 41.3 (Sept. 1989): 432-65 (e-reserve) Tues. 29 Jan. Roland Marchand, “Men of the People: the New Professionals” in Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940 (Berkeley: U of California P, 1985): 25-51 (e-reserve) **Thurs. 31 Jan. Barton, Man Nobody Knows, introduction & chap. 1-4 (pp. vii-58) Tues. 5 Feb. Barton, Man Nobody Knows, chap. 5 -7 (pp. 59-102) Thurs. 7 Feb. Susan Faludi, chap. 5, “Where am I in the Kingdom?: a Christian Quest for Manhood” in Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Male (New York: Harper, 1999): 224-88 (e-reserve) Tues. 12 Feb. Colleen McDannell, chap. 6, “Christian Kitsch and the Rhetoric of Bad Taste” in Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America (New Haven: Yale UP, 1995): 163-97 (e-reserve)
Thurs. 14 Feb. - – Midterm Exam – BRING A BLUE BOOK
Race and Ethnicity Tues. 19 Feb. David Levering Lewis, chap. 4, “Enter the New Negro” in When Harlem Was in Vogue (New York: Oxford UP, 1981): 88-118 (e-reserve)
**Thurs. 21 Feb.
Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, chap I – VIII (pp.1-91)
Tues. 26 Feb. Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, chap. IX – XI (pp. 92-154)
Thurs. 28 Feb. -- Museum Review Paper Handout Kimberly Lamm, “Reinventing Empire, Celebrating Commerce: Two Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Exhibitions,” American Quarterly 58.1 (March 2006): 181-203 (e-reserve)
**Tues. 4 Mar. Kingston, Woman Warrior (“No Name Woman”; “White Tigers”; “Shaman”) Thurs. 6 Mar. Kingston, Woman Warrior, ctd. (“At the Western Palace”; “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe”)
King-Kok Cheung, “The Woman Warrior versus The Chinaman Pacific: Must a Chinese American Critic Choose between Feminism and Heroism?” in Conflicts in Feminism, ed. Marianne Hirsch & Evelyn Fox Keller (New York: Routledge, 1990): 234-51 (e-reserve)
SPRING BREAK – No class Tues. 11 Mar. and Thurs. 13 Mar. Tues. 18 Mar. Jacobson, chap. 2, “Anglo-Saxons and Others, 1840-1924” in Whiteness of a Different Color, 39-90
Thurs. 20 Mar. Jacobson, chap. 3, “Becoming Caucasian, 1924-1965” in Whiteness of a Different Color, 91-135
Class, Labor and Consumption Tues. 25 Mar. David R. Roediger, chap. 4, “”White Slaves, Wage Slaves and Free White Labor” in The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, Rev. ed. (New York: Verso, 1991, 1999): 65-92 (e-reserve)
Lawrence Glickman, “Inventing the ‘American Standard of Living’: Gender, Race and Working-Class Identity, 1880-1925,” Labor History 34.2-3 (Spr./Sum 1993): 221-35 (e-reserve) Thurs. 27 Mar. – Museum Review Paper Due / small-group presentations Erin Smith, chap. 1, “The Hard-Boiled Writer and the Literary Marketplace” (18-42) in Hard-Boiled: Working-Class Readers and Pulp Magazines (Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2000) (e-reserve) Tues. 1 Apr. Nan Enstad, chap. 2, “Ladies of Labor: Fashion, Fiction, and Working Women’s Culture” in Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (NY: Columbia UP, 1999): 48-83 (e-reserve)
**Thurs. 3 Apr.
Caspary, Bedelia, introduction, chap. 1-5
Tues. 8 Apr. Caspary, Bedelia, chap. 6–end, afterword
Globalization Thurs. 10 Apr. LaFeber, Michael Jordan and Global Capitalism, preface, chap. 1-2 (1-74) Tues. 15 Apr. LaFeber, chap. 3, 4, 5 (75-129) Thurs. 17 Apr.
LaFeber, chap. 6-7 (130-88) Tues. 22 Apr. Wrap – Up / Evaluations / Final Exam Questions Out Thurs. 24 Apr. -- Literary Analysis Paper Due / small-group presentations TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM due Tues. 6 May in my office by 4:00 p.m.
Your grade will be based on: Museum Review Paper Literary Analysis Paper Midterm Exam Final Exam Presentation or Reading Question Write-ups 20% 20% 20% 20% 20%
You must complete all course requirements in order to pass the class (e.g. if you do not hand in a paper, you will fail the class, even if the other grades average out to a passing grade). Attendance and participation will be reflected in your grade (i.e. it doesn’t matter how well you do on the other things, if you regularly don’t show for class or don’t participate). Anyone missing more than 8 classes (for whatever reason) will fail the course. Habitual lateness, absences or failure to hand in a paper on time will be reflected in your grade. Please consult me in the event of illness, emergency, or other extenuating circumstances.
Course & Instructor Policies
Attendance and participation -- You are expected to come to class prepared for discussion. Your participation includes not only expressing your own ideas, but also the respect and seriousness with which you treat the ideas of your colleagues. --Presentation -- You and a partner are responsible for getting discussion of the day’s reading started once during the semester. You should meet in advance and plan the background, issues, passages to examine closely, and questions you want to bring to the class. Presentations will be the first 10 minutes of class, although discussion of questions may run much longer. You will distribute to everyone a single handout you jointly produce with 3-5 questions for us to address at the start of class. Classes available for student presenters are marked with a ** on the syllabus.
Reading Question Write-Ups – Six times over the course of the semester, you will hand in a one-page (MAX) typed response to questions about the reading. Goal is to (1) prove you’ve done the reading; and (2) show some thoughtful consideration of the issues or questions it raises. These are reaction papers vs. more formal writing. If you spend more than 20-30 minutes writing, you are working too hard. I will post prompts on my website for each day’s reading. You may feel free to add thoughts/questions to these. You must hand in 3 write-ups by Tues. 26 Feb. Write-ups are due on the day we discuss a reading. Late write-ups will not be accepted. E-mailed and faxed write-ups will not be accepted. I will not accept write-ups from students not present in class that day. --Midterm and Final Exams -- essay exams designed to test your mastery of course readings and class discussion, and your ability to synthesize the material and think critically about it. Midterm is in-class on Thurs. 14 Feb. Final exam is a take-home exam due in my office by 4:00 p.m. on Tues. 6 May. Museum Review Paper (5 pages) – a review of a museum that represents some aspect of American history and culture. Detailed handout to be provided. Due Thurs. 27 Mar. at the start of class. Brief presentation in small groups required.
Literary Analysis Paper (5 pages) – a formal analysis of a literary text we have read together this semester. Detailed handout to be provided. Due Thurs. 24 Apr. at the start of class. Brief presentation in small groups required.
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Field Trip Policies Off-campus Instruction and Course Activities
Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities. Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm. Additional information is available from the office of the school dean. Below is a description of any travel and/or riskrelated activity associated with this course.
Student Conduct & Discipline
The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD printed publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year. The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations, Series 50000, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391) and online at http://www.utdallas.edu/judicialaffairs/UTDJudicialAffairs-HOPV.html A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.
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Withdrawal from Class
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Student Grievance Procedures
Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”). Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.
Incomplete Grade Policy
As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.
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If you anticipate issues related to the format or requirements of this course, please meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services. The Coordinator is available to discuss ways to ensure your full participation in the course. If you determine that formal, disability-related accommodations are necessary, it is very important that you be registered with Disability Services to notify them of your eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Disability Services can then plan how best to coordinate your accommodations.
It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations. Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.
Religious Holy Days
The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated. The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment. If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.
These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.