Course Information Fall 2011 American Studies for the Twenty-First Century AMS 2341 HN 001 Tues. & Thurs. 11:30 – 12:45 p.m. GC 1.208B
Professor Contact Information Dr. Erin A. Smith School of Interdisciplinary Studies Office: HH 2.304 Phone: (972) 883-2338 e-mail: [email protected]
web site: http://www.utdallas.edu/~erins Office Hours: Tues. 4-5p.m Thurs. 1-2 p.m. and by appointment
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. 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. 3. 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) All texts are available at Off-campus Books, the UTD Bookstore, and Stanza Books. Selected readings on e-reserve at
Additional course materials available on e-learning.
Assignments & Academic Calendar
Thurs. 25 Aug. – Intro. to Course What is a citizen? Gender and Sexuality in the Early Republic and Beyond Tues. 30 Aug. 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)
**Thurs. 1 Sept. Foster, The Coquette, 1-114 (finish it if you can, it‘s short) Tues. 6 Sept. Foster, The Coquette, 114-end Thurs. 8 Sept. 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 Tues. 13 Sept. Gail Bederman, ―‘The Men 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)
Thurs. 15 Sept. 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)
**Tues. 20 Sept. Barton, Man Nobody Knows, intro, chap. 1-4, vii-58
Thurs. 22 Sept. Barton, chap. 5-7, 59-102 Tues. 27 Sept. 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)
Thurs. 29 Sept. 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)
Race and Ethnicity Tues. 4 Oct. David Levering Lewis, chap. 4, ―Enter the New Negro,‖ When Harlem Was in Vogue (New York: Oxford UP, 1981): 88-118 (e-reserve) **Thurs. 6 Oct. Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, chap. I – VIII, 1-91 Tues. 11 Oct. Johnson, chap. IX-XI, 92-154
Thurs. 13 Oct. – Midterm Exam – BRING A BLUE BOOK
Tues. 18 Oct -- 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) Thurs. 20 Oct. – NO CLASS Tues 25 Oct. Jacobson, chap. 2, ―Anglo-Saxons and Others, 1840-1924‖ in Whiteness of a Different Color, 39-90 Thurs. 27 Oct. Jacobson, chap. 3, ―Becoming Caucasian, 1924-1965‖ in Whiteness of a Different Color, 91-135
**Tues. 1 Nov. Kingston, Woman Warrior ("No Name Woman"; "White Tigers"; "Shaman") Thurs. 3 Nov. Kingston, ("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).
Class, Labor and Consumption Tues. 8 Nov. David R. Roediger, chap. 3, ―‘Neither a Servant Nor a Master am I‘: Keywords in the Languages of White Labor Republicanism‖ (43-64); and chap. 4, ―White Slaves, Wage Slaves and Free White Labor‖ (65-92) in The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, Rev. ed. (New York: Verso, 1991, 1999) (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. 10 Nov. – Museum Review Paper Due / small-group presentations Erin Smith, ―Pulp Sensations,‖ forthcoming in Cambridge Companion to Popular Fiction, ed. David Glover and Scott McCracken (e-reserve) Tues. 15 Nov. 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. 17 Nov. Caspary, Bedelia, introduction, chap. 1-5
Tues. 22 Nov. Caspary, Bedelia, chap. 6–end, afterword Thurs. 24 Nov. – NO CLASS – Thanksgiving Globalization Tues. 29 Nov. LaFeber, Michael Jordan and Global Capitalism, preface, chap. 1-3 (1-89) Thurs. 1 Dec. LaFeber, chap. 4 – 7 (90-188)
Tues. 6 Dec. -- Literary Analysis Paper Due / small-group presentations Wrap – Up / Evaluations / Final Exam Questions Out
TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM due Tuesday 13 December in my office at 11:00 a.m.
Course & Grading 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 or partners 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 Questions – Eight 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. If you spend more than 20-30 minutes writing, you are working too hard. I will post prompts on e-learning for each day‘s reading. You may feel free to add thoughts/questions to these. You must hand in 4 reading questions by Tues. 18 Oct. Reading questions are due on the day we discuss a reading. Late reading questions will not be accepted. E-
mailed and faxed reading questions will not be accepted. I will not accept reading questions 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. 13 October. Final exam is a take-home exam due in my office at 11:00 a.m. on Tues. 13 Dec. 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. 10 Nov. 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 Tues. 6 Dec. at the start of class. Brief presentation in small groups required. Grading Policy --Your grade will be based on: Museum Review Paper Literary Analysis Paper Midterm Exam Final Exam Reading Questions Presentation 20% 20% 15% 15% 20% 10%
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. A NOTE ON CELL PHONES AND PAGERS—TURN THEM OFF!!! They are rude, disruptive, and disrespectful to me and to your classmates.
UT Dallas Syllabus Policies and Procedures
The information contained in the following link constitutes the University‘s policies and procedures segment of the course syllabus. Please go to http://go.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies for these policies.
The descriptions and timelines contained in this syllabus are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.