The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.


American Cultural Studies

Professors Turlish (English), Acting Chair (winter semester and Short Term), Branham (Rhetoric)(on leave, winter semester and Short Term), and Taylor (English); Associate Professors Kessler (Political Science), Brinkley (Sociology and Women's Studies), Creighton (History), Chair (on leave, winter semester), Bruce (Religion), Fra-Molinero (Spanish), Eames (Anthropology), Nero (Rhetoric), and Carnegie (Anthropology); Assistant Professors Chin (English), Hill (Political Science), Jensen (History), Williams (Music and African American Studies), and Rivers (Political Science); Mr. Pope.L (Theater)

American cultural studies is an interdisciplinary program that seeks to understand the differences and commonalities that inform changing answers to the question "What does it mean to be an American?" Courses offering diverse methods and perspectives help to explore how self-conceptions resist static definition, how cultural groups change through interaction, and how disciplines transform themselves through mutual inquiry. The centrality of courses in American cultural studies helps provide a lens through which to view how groups of Americans see themselves and each other and how American institutions have constructed such differences as race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. Seen as such, the critical study of what it means to be American relies not on fixed, unitary, or absolute values, but rather on dynamic meanings that are themselves a part of cultural history. Respecting diverse claims to truth as changing also allows them to be understood as changeable.

The major in American cultural studies requires ten courses in addition to a senior thesis. There are three required introductory courses: an introduction to African American history, a course introducing race, ethnicity, and gender as analytical categories, and a course introducing interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Seven courses in addition to the thesis are to be chosen from the list below. These electives should include advanced courses in at least two disciplines and constitute a coherent area of concentration. In addition, one course should study the African diaspora, one course should use gender as a primary category of analysis, and one course should have an experiential or fieldwork component. The proposed area of concentration and sequence of courses should be worked out with the faculty advisor and approved by the fall semester of the junior year. All majors must complete a senior thesis (see American Cultural Studies 457 or 458 below).

150. Black Culture and Black Consciousness in Diaspora.
The course aims to provide an anthropological framework for understanding cultural production and meaning through time in black communities in the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. Distinctiveness as well as commonalities in social and cultural patterning among African diaspora peoples are discussed within the context of the historical and structural conditions that created and continue to engender a diasporic black consciousness. Illustrative material is drawn from popular culture, ethnographies of black family and community life, life histories, and other sources. This course is the same as Anthropology 150 and African American Studies 150. C. Carnegie.

250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry. Interdisciplinary involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. This course is the same as African American Studies 250 and Women's Studies 250. Prerequisite: any two courses in women's studies, African American studies, or American cultural studies. Required of African American studies, American cultural studies and women's studies majors. Staff.

360. Independent Study. Independent study of selected topics by individual students. Students must meet periodically with faculty and complete papers or projects. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.

457, 458. Senior Thesis. Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, all majors write an extended essay that utilizes the methods of at least two disciplines. Students register for American Cultural Studies 457 in the fall semester and for American Cultural Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both American Cultural Studies 457 and 458. Staff.

Short Term Units

s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Program committee only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Program faculty to direct the study and evaluate the results. Students are limited to one individual research unit. Staff.

The following courses from across the curriculum can be applied to the major:

African American Studies 150. Black Culture and Black Consciousness in Diaspora. This course is the same as American Cultural Studies 150 and Anthropology 150.
African American Studies 249. African American Popular Music. This course is the same as Music 249.
African American Studies 262. Ethnomusicology: African Diaspora. This course is the same as Anthropology 262 and Music 262.
African American Studies 280. Education, Reform, and Politics. This course is the same as Education 280 and Sociology 280.
African American Studies 390A. The Harlem Renaissance.
African American Studies s19. Spike Lee. This course is the same as Rhetoric s19.

Anthropology 101. Social Anthropology.
Anthropology 150. Black Culture and Black Consciousness in Diaspora. This course is the same as African American Studies 150 and American Cultural Studies 150.
Anthropology 234. Myth, Folklore, and Popular Culture. This course is the same as
Religion 261.
Anthropology 250. Caribbean Societies: Emergence of Post-Nationalism.
Anthropology 253. Western North America: Native Cultures, Histories, and
Anthropology 262. Ethnomusicology: African Diaspora. This course is the same as
African American Studies 262 and Music 262.
Anthropology 322. First Encounters: European "Discovery" and North American
Anthropology 333. Culture and Interpretation.
Anthropology 335. The Ethnographer's Craft.
Anthropology 336. Ethnohistory of the Andes.
Anthropology 347. New World Archeology.
Anthropology s21. Cultural Production and Social Context: Jamaica. This unit is the same as English s21.
Anthropology s23. Environment and Environmentalism: Native and European Land Use in the American West.
Anthropology s25. Ethnicity, Bilingualism, Religion, and Gender: Topics in Ethnographic Fieldwork.
Anthropology s32. Introduction to Archeological Fieldwork.

Art 283. Contemporary Art.
Art 284. American Art.
Art 361. Museum Internship.
Art s23. Art and Artists in New York.
Art s25. American Architecture: Bates College.
Art s29. Just View It: Popular Culture, Critical Stances.
Art s32. The Photograph as Document.

Biology 200. The Social Context of Science.

Economics 220. American Economic History.
Economics 225. Economics of Health Care.
Economics 230. Economics of Women, Men, and Work.
Economics 331. Labor Economics.
Economics 348. Urban Economics.
Economics s37. The Causes and Consequences of the Great Depression.

Education 231. Perspectives on Education.
Education 233. Environmental Education.
Education 280. Education, Reform, and Politics. This course is the same as African American Studies 280 and Sociology 280.
Education s21. Perspectives on Education.

English 121G. Asian American Women Writers.
English 121I. Reading "Race" and Ethnicity in American Literature.
English 141. American Writers to 1900.
English 152. American Writers Since 1900.
English 241. American Fiction.
English 250. The African American Novel.
English 294. Storytelling.
English 395A. Twentieth-Century Caribbean Narrative.
English 395B. A Dissenting Tradition in Twentieth-Century American Literature.
English 395C. Frost, Williams, and Stevens.
English 395F. To Light: Five Twentieth-Century American Women Poets.
English 395K. African American Literary and Cultural Criticism.
English s17. Sexual Harassment and the U.S. Senate's Thomas-Hill Hearings. This unit is the same as Sociology s17.
English s18. Elvis Godard: Topics in Experimental Writing.
English s21. Cultural Production and Social Context: Jamaica. This unit is the same as Anthropology s21.
English s23. Beatniks and Mandarins: A Literary and Cultural History of the American Fifties.

First-Year Seminar 014. African American Enslavement.
First-Year Seminar 132. Human Rights: A Latin American Perspective.
First-Year Seminar 153. Race in American Political and Social Thought.
First-Year Seminar 187. Hard Times: The Economy and Society in the Great Depression.
First-Year Seminar 201. Using the Land.

French 240B. "Mon pays, c'est l'hiver": Québec Culture and Literature.
French s32. The Cultures of Martinique.
French s35. French in Maine.

History 140. Origins of the New Nation, 1500-1820.
History 141. America in the Nineteenth Century.
History 142. The Republic, Industrial, and Imperial, 1890-1998.
History 144 (247). The Social History of the Civil War.
History 181. Latin America.
History 240. Colonial America, 1660-1763.
History 241. The Age of the American Revolution, 1763-1789.
History 243. African American History.
History 260. Topics on the Left: A History of American Radicalism.
History 261. American Protest in the Twentieth Century.
History 281. Social History of Central America.
History 282. Gender in Latin American History.
History 283. Latinos in the United States.
History 342. The United States in the Sixties and Seventies.
History 349. Black America in the Twentieth Century.
History 390B. The Nixon Presidency.
History 390C. Gender and the American Civil War.
History 390E. Perspectives on the History of Early America.
History 390F. The American West.
History 390G. The United States in Vietnam, 1945-1975.
History 390H. U.S. Relations with Latin America.
History 390K. Currents in Modern American Intellectual History.
History s19. Origins of the Cuban Revolution.
History s24A. The Civil Rights Movement.
History s25A. Japanese-American "Relocation" Camps.
History s26. Brazilian Slavery Through Documents.
History s42. Historical Archeology.

Music 246. American Music: Imaginary Landscapes.
Music 247. Jazz and Blues: History and Practice.
Music 249. African American Popular Music. This course is the same as African
American Studies 249.
Music 262. Ethnomusicology: African Diaspora. This course is the same as African
American Studies 262 and Anthropology 262.
Music s29. American Musicals on Film.

Political Science 115. American Government and Public Policy.
Political Science 118. Law and Politics.
Political Science 211. American Parties and Elections.
Political Science 214. City Politics.
Political Science 217. The American Presidency.
Political Science 227. Judicial Power and Economic Policy.
Political Science 228. Constitutional Freedoms.
Political Science 233. African American Politics.
Political Science 235. Black Women in the Americas.
Political Science 249. Politics of Latin America.
Political Science 276. American Foreign Policy.
Political Science 294. Political Thought in the United States.
Political Science 310. Public Opinion.
Political Science 322. American Legislative Behavior.
Political Science 325. Constitutional Rights and Social Change.
Political Science 329. Law and Gender.
Political Science 335. Black Political Thought.
Political Science 374. The Latin Caribbean: Reconsidering Dependency.
Political Science 421. Congressional Internship.
Political Science s20. Environmental Politics.
Political Science s21. Internships in Community Service.
Political Science s23. Organized Interests and American Democracy.
Political Science s24. Urban Political Change: Lewiston.
Political Science s25. Labor, Class, Community Action.
Political Science s31. Internships in State and Local Government and Politics.

Psychology 210. Social Psychology.

Religion 216. American Religious History, 1550-1840.
Religion 217. Religion in the American Experience.
Religion 247. City Upon the Hill.
Religion 261. Myth, Folklore, and Popular Culture. This course is the same as Anthropology 234.
Religion 306. Seminar on American Religious Thought and History.
Religion s24. Religion and the City.
Religion s27. Field Studies in Religion: Cult and Community.

Rhetoric 255. Moving Pictures: The Rhetoric of Committed Documentary.
Rhetoric 275. African American Public Address.
Rhetoric 278. The Rhetoric of Nuclear Culture, 1939-1964.
Rhetoric 386. Language and Communication of Black Americans.
Rhetoric 390. Contemporary Rhetoric.

Sociology 236. Urban Sociology.
Sociology 240. Race and Ethnicity in the United States.
Sociology 280. Education, Reform, and Politics. This course is the same as African American Studies 280 and Education 280.
Sociology 340. Political Sociology.
Sociology s17. Sexual Harassment and the U.S. Senate's Thomas-Hill Hearings. This unit is the same as English s17.
Sociology s26. Urban Transformations: A Tale of Three Cities.

Spanish 215. Readings in Spanish American Literature.
Spanish 250. The Latin American Short Story.
Spanish 255. Rewriting Modernity in Contemporary Latin American Fiction.
Spanish s33. Women, Nation, and Literary Culture in Latin America.

Theater 215. Popular Performance in Urban America: 1820-1920.
Theater 225. The Grain of the Black Image. This course is the same as Rhetoric 225.
Theater 226. Minority Images in Hollywood Film.
Theater 250. Twentieth-Century American Dance I.
Theater 252. Twentieth-Century American Dance II.
Theater s28. The Living Stage: Theater in New York.
Theater s29. Dance as a Collaborative Art.

Women's Studies 201. African American Women and Feminist Thought.
Women's Studies 310. The Demography of U.S. Women.

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Last modified:10/21/97 by jPc