An Interdepartmental Program in American Studies

Last updated: July 31, 2014 at 3:50 p.m.

Objectives

American Studies is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of all things American. An inquiry into the many varieties of American culture, past and present, the major seeks to provide students with a historical perspective on the United States and an educated awareness of the ways in which the nation has shaped the lives of its citizens as well as people around the world. The curriculum embraces a wide range of cultural expressions, including literature, film, music, art, architecture, and digital media. Typically, students who enroll anticipate careers in fields such as law, business, public service, education, journalism, and the entertainment industry. Through our close relationships with programs in Legal Studies and Journalism, American Studies aims to provide a broad background to those areas and welcomes students who seek active engagement with the contemporary world through a firm grounding in a sound liberal arts education.

Learning Goals

American Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of American culture, identities, beliefs, thoughts, values and traditions in national and global contexts. Incorporating a broad range of subjects and methodologies from a variety of disciplines, our curriculum seeks to provide students with an educated awareness of the ways in which the United States frames the lives, aspirations, and thinking of its own citizens and of peoples around the world.

Students can take courses in history, literature, film, women's studies, popular culture, electronic and digital media, race and immigration, ethnic studies, legal scholarship, journalism, politics, and the environment. A series of Main Currents courses on broad themes in American culture serves as a gateway to a curriculum that examines the construction of American ideas and identities across time periods, fields and disciplines, genres and media. Requirements include a two-semester sequence which examines the history of American culture from the nation's founding to the present, a Main Currents course, and six electives chosen from within the Program and courses cross-listed with other departments and programs.

Knowledge: Students completing the major in American Studies will be able to:

  • Understand foundational texts of American culture and history from the colonial period to the present.
  • View America as a distinct culture composed of diverse peoples, experiences, traditions and values.
  • Understand the historical roots of contemporary issues, programs, movements, policies.
  • Situate American culture within a global context.

Core Skills: The American Studies major emphasizes core skills in analysis, critical thinking, research, and communication. Based on the critical understandings above, American Studies majors will be prepared to:

  • Critically analyze and interpret a spectrum of American texts (e.g., classic works of literature and art; historical, legal, and religious writings; Hollywood cinema; and material culture).
  • Examine American identities and institutions from a variety of interdisciplinary frameworks (e.g., women’s and gender studies, race and ethnic studies, popular culture studies, religious studies).
  • Cultivate an expertise in the theories and methods of American Studies.
  • Develop and express well-formulated ideas in writing and oral presentation.
  • Locate, analyze, and assess a variety of primary and secondary sources using appropriate research methodologies and frameworks.

Social Justice: The American Studies curriculum prepares students for lives of civic engagement, providing the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to public debate, scholarship, and policy initiatives related to social justice in the modern world. The curriculum fosters an open climate for consideration of a full range of ideological, political, social, cultural, and religious perspectives about the United States in the world.

We take pride in our long tradition of faculty involvement in social and political life, modeling ways in which scholarship and activism can be combined to improve the common good. American Studies faculty developed the idea for Brandeis’ Transitional Year Program, which served has a template for many other college programs, and have been involved in many public service enterprises at the local, national, and global levels. Numerous American Studies courses, particularly those taught by the directors of the Environmental Studies Program, the Legal Studies Program, and the Journalism Program, incorporate experiential learning components, which directly connect learning to issues of social justice.

Upon Graduation: American Studies graduates go on to careers in a variety of fields, including journalism and communication; law and politics; government and public policy; film, television and the entertainment industry; advertising, public relations, business and marketing. Majors often enter academic scholarship in a variety of fields, including but not limited to American Studies.

How to Become a Major

Normally, students declare their major in their sophomore year and complete the three required courses (see below) by the end of their junior year. Working with an American Studies adviser, students are urged to develop a coherent selection of electives tailored to their particular interests and gifts. American Studies majors often take several departmental courses that also satisfy the requirements of their program. Courses in other departments that satisfy American Studies elective requirements are listed below and are also listed on the American Studies website. Students who wish to be considered for honors in American Studies must write a senior thesis in a full-year course (AMST 99d). Special opportunities are available for supervised internships (AMST 92a), one-on-one readings courses (AMST 97a,b), and individually directed research courses (AMST 98a,b). Majors are encouraged to gain a valuable cross-cultural perspective on America by studying abroad in their junior year.

Faculty

Thomas Doherty, Chair
Media and culture.

Joyce Antler
Women's history, social history, education.

Jacob Cohen (on leave fall 2014)
Culture, politics, and thought.

Brian Donahue (Director, Environmental Studies Program)
Environmental studies.

Maura Farrelly (Director, Journalism Program)
Journalism, religion.

Richard Gaskins (Director, Legal Studies Program)
Law, social policy, philosophy.

Eileen McNamara
Journalism, media, ethics.

Jillian Powers
Race, ethnicity, and immigration.

Stephen Whitfield, Undergraduate Advising Head
Modern political and cultural history.

Affiliated Faculty (contributing to the curriculum, advising and administration of the department or program)
Laura Goldin (Environmental Studies)
James Mandrell (Romance Studies)
Daniel S. Terris (International Center for Ethics)

Requirements for the Major

A. At least one course from the Main Currents in American Studies cluster: AMST 25b, 30b, 35a, 40a, 45b, 50b, 55a, 60a.

B. Two core courses in American culture, taken sequentially: AMST 100a and 100b.
 
C.  Six additional courses from within the Department of American Studies or from the cross-listed section below. A substitution for the required Main Currents course may be made only with advance  permission of the department. Main Currents courses may also be counted  as electives.
 
D. No course, whether required or elective, for which a student  receives a grade below a C-minus may be counted toward the major nor any course taken pass/fail.
 
E. To be eligible for departmental honors, seniors must successfully complete AMST  99d (Senior Research) and participate in a year-long honors colloquium. AMST 99d does not satisfy other departmental requirements.
 
F. No more than two courses satisfying a second major may be offered  to complete the American Studies major.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

AMST 25b Individualism in America
[ ss ]
Examines the central dilemmas of the American experience through various major works. Topics include the ambition to transcend social and personal limitations and the tension between demands of self and the hunger for community. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 30b American Environmental History
[ ss wi ]
Provides an overview of the relationship between nature and culture in North America. Covers Native Americans, the European invasion, the development of a market system of resource extraction and consumption, the impact of industrialization, and environmentalist responses. Current environmental issues are placed in historical context. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 35a Hollywood and American Culture
[ ss ]
This is an interdisciplinary course in Hollywood cinema and American culture that aims to do justice to both arenas. Students will learn the terms of filmic grammar, the meanings of visual style, and the contexts of Hollywood cinema from The Birth of a Nation (1915) to last weekend's top box office grosser. They will also master the major economic, social, and political realities that make up the American experience of the dominant medium of our time, the moving image, as purveyed by Hollywood. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 40a Women in American History
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 123b in prior years.
Examines the private and public experiences of women-family life, sexuality, work, and activism-as reflected in historical and autobiographical sources, fiction, and many films. The diverse experiences of women of different races, ethnicities, and classes are highlighted. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Antler

AMST 45b Violence (and Nonviolence) in American Culture
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 175a in prior years.
Studies the use of terror and violence by citizens and governments in the domestic history of the United States. What are the occasions and causes of violence? How is it imagined, portrayed, and explained in literature? Is there anything peculiarly American about violence in America--nonviolence and pacifism? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cohen

AMST 50b Religion in American Life
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 167b in prior years.
Considers the historical influence of religious belief on various aspects of American political, cultural, legal, and economic life. Topics include the use and effectiveness of religious language in political rhetoric, from the American Revolution to the War in Iraq; the role that religious belief has played in galvanizing and frustrating various reform movements; and the debate over the proper role of religion in the public square. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Farrelly

AMST 55a Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American Culture
[ ss ]
Provides an introductory overview of the study of race, ethnicity, and culture in the United States. Focuses on the historical, sociological, and political movements that affected the arrival and settlement of African, Asian, European, American Indian, and Latino populations in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Utilizing theoretical and discursive perspectives, compares and explores the experiences of these groups in the United States in relation to issues of immigration, population relocations, government and civil legislation, ethnic identity, gender and family relations, class, and community. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 60a The Legal Boundaries of Public and Private Life
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 187a in prior years.
Examine civil liberties through landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases. Explores confrontations between public interest and personal rights across four episodes in American cultural history; post-Civil War race relations; progressive-era economic regulation; war-time free-speech debates; and current issues of sexual and reproductive privacy. Close legal analysis supplemented by politics, philosophy, and social history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Gaskins

AMST 92a Internship in American Studies
Off-campus work experience in conjunction with a reading course with a member of the department. Requires reading and writing assignments drawing upon and amplifying the internship experience. Only one internship course may be submitted in satisfaction of the department's elective requirements. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 97a Readings in American Studies
Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors.
Independent readings, research, and writing on a subject of the student's interest, under the direction of a faculty adviser. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 97b Readings in American Studies
Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors.
Independent readings, research, and writing on a subject of the student's interest, under the direction of a faculty adviser. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 98a Independent Study
Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 98b Independent Study
Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 99d Senior Research
Seniors who are candidates for degrees with departmental honors should register for this course and, under the direction of a faculty adviser, prepare a thesis. In addition to regular meetings with a faculty adviser, seniors will participate in an honors colloquium, a seminar group bringing together the honors candidates and members of the American studies faculty. Usually offered every year.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

AMST 100a Classic Texts in American Culture Before 1900
[ ss wi ]
Permission of the instructor required.
This is the core seminar for American studies majors; a text-based course tracing the American experience from the earliest colonizations through the nineteenth century. Usually offered every fall.
Staff

AMST 100b Twentieth-Century American Culture
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: AMST 100a. Permission of the instructor required.
The democratization of taste and the extension of mass media are among the distinguishing features of American culture in the twentieth century. Through a variety of genres and forms of expression, in high culture and the popular arts, this course traces the historical development of a national style that came to exercise formidable influence abroad as well. Usually offered every spring.
Staff

AMST 102aj Environment, Social Justice, and Empowerment
[ oc ss wi ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
This community-engaged course involves students first-hand in the legal, policy, science, history and social impacts of current environmental health issues challenging individuals and families and communities today, with a particular focus on low-income, immigrant communities and the profound and unique roles played by women. Students will engage directly in the topics through field trips, visiting speakers and discussions with stakeholders themselves. They also will address the issues by assisting low income residents in Waltham at the Tenant Advocacy Clinic, and collaborating in projects with EPA, DEP and local organizations such as Healthy Waltham, the Waltham Family School, Waltham Family YMCA, Jewish Family and Children's Service, Joseph Smith Community Health Center and others. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin

AMST 103b Advertising and the Media
[ ss ]
Combines a historical and contemporary analysis of advertising's role in developing and sustaining consumer culture in America with a practical analysis of the relationship between advertising and the news media in the United States. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Farrelly

AMST 104bj Boston and Its Suburbs: Environment and History
[ ss ]
Advanced seminar follows the development of the cultural landscape of Boston, Waltham and the western suburbs from glacial retreat to urban sprawl. Employs ecology and history to better understand and address contemporary environmental issues. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 105a The Eastern Forest: Paleoecology to Policy
[ ss wi ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
Can we make sustainable use of the Eastern Forest of North America while protecting biological diversity and ecological integrity? Explores the forest's ecological development, the impact of human cultures, attitudes toward the forest, and our mixed record of abuse and stewardship. Includes extensive fieldwork. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 106b Food and Farming in America
[ ss wi ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
American food is abundant and cheap. Yet many eat poorly, and some argue that our agriculture may be unhealthy and unsustainable. Explores the history of American farming and diet and the prospects for a healthy food system. Includes extensive fieldwork. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 115a American Graphic: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Graphic Nonfiction
[ hum ss ]
Studies the art and culture of the graphic novel and nonfiction text, tracking the medium from its comic book origins to its full maturity as a canvas for literature, memoir, and nonfiction. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 116b Race and American Cinema
[ hum ]
From its earliest beginnings, the history of American cinema has been inextricably--and controversially--tied to the racial politics of the United States. This course explores how images of racial and ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Jews, Asians, Native Americans, and Latino/as are reflected on the screen, as well as the ways that minorities in the entertainment industry have responded to often limiting representations. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

AMST 124b American Love and Marriage
[ ss ]
Ideas and behavior relating to love and marriage are used as lenses to view broader social patterns such as family organization, generational conflict, and the creation of professional and national identity. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Antler

AMST 127b Women and American Popular Culture
[ ss ]
Examines women's diverse representations and participation in the popular culture of the United States. Using historical studies, advertising, film, television, music, and literature, discusses how constructions of race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion have shaped women's encounters with popular and mass culture. Topics include women and modernity, leisure and work, women's roles in the rise of consumer culture and relation to technology, representations of sexuality, and the impact of feminism. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

AMST 128b History as Theater
[ hum ss ]
Examines how documentary drama puts history on stage. Probes relationships between historical facts and truth. Students will research their own documentary drama: the notorious 1970 case of Brandeis radical students who turned to violence to pursue their goals. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Antler

AMST 129a From American Movie Musicals to Music Videos
[ ss ]
Examines the spectacle of song and dance in movie musicals and music videos, beginning with the earliest talking pictures in the late 1920's and continuing to the present. Particular emphasis will be on technological change, race, gender and the commodification of culture, among other topics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Mandrell

AMST 130b Television and American Culture
[ ss ]
An interdisciplinary course with three main lines of discussion and investigation: an aesthetic inquiry into the meaning of television style and genre; a historical consideration of the medium and its role in American life; and a technological study of televisual communication. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 131b News on Screen
[ ss ]
An interdisciplinary course exploring how journalistic practice is mediated by moving image--cinematic, televisual, and digital. The historical survey will span material from the late-nineteenth-century "actualities" of Thomas Edison and the Lumiere Brothers to the viral environment of the World Wide Web, a rich tradition that includes newsreels, expeditionary films, screen magazines, combat reports, government information films, news broadcasts, live telecasts, television documentaries, amateur video, and the myriad blogs, vlogs, and webcasts of the digital age. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 132b International Affairs and the American Media
[ ss ]
Examines and assesses American media coverage of major international events and perspectives, with special emphasis on the Middle East. In addition to analyzing the political, economic, cultural, and tactical factors that influence coverage, students will be challenged to consider the extent to which the American media have influenced their own understanding of the crisis in the Middle East and the relationship the United States has with that part of the world. Students will engage in online chats with students in the Middle East, and they will write and edit their own television news pieces about developments in the region. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Farrelly

AMST 133a The History of Media in America
[ ss ]
An introductory survey that considers the development and influence of the mass media in America from the colonial period to the present. The goal is to bring the skills of historical analysis to the study of mass media, so that students will come to know the fluid and constructed nature of the media environment that shapes their understanding of the contemporary world. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Farrelly

AMST 134b Digital Media and American Culture
[ ss ]
Analyzes how the Internet, the Blogosphere, Facebook, Twitterdom, iPhones and iPads (all in all the entire array of constantly expanding techniques for instant (and incessant) information transmission and reception) have affected American Culture--thought, expressive styles, politics, liberties, prose, education, journalism, social and personal relations, values, identities, senses of self, nation, and the globe. In brief: what has been replaced, and with what, and is all this for better or worse? Usually offered every year.
Mr. Cohen

AMST 136a Planet Hollywood: American Cinema in Global Perspective
[ hum ss ]
Examines the global reach of Hollywood cinema as an art, business, and purveyor of American values, tracking how Hollywood has absorbed foreign influences and how other nations have adapted and resisted the Hollywood juggernaut. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 137b Journalism in Twentieth-Century America
[ ss ]
Examines what journalists have done, how their enterprise has in fact conformed with their ideals, and what some of the consequences have been for the republic historically. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 139b Race and Gender in the News
[ ss ]
Examines the ways in which news coverage of women and minorities has both shaped our understanding of gender and race in the United States and influenced the tone and content of public discourse on such policy matters as gay marriage, pay equity, and racial profiling. We will consider the implications of the historical under-representation of women and minorities in the nation's newsrooms for efforts to combat cultural stereotyping of blacks, women, ethnic minorities and the GLBT community. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. McNamara

AMST 140b The Asian American Experience
[ oc ss ]
Examines the political, economic, social, and contemporary issues related to Asians in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Topics include patterns of immigration and settlement, and individual, family, and community formation explored through history, literature, personal essays, films, and other popular media sources. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

AMST 141a Discovering America
[ ss ]
Examines how the United States, starting in the margins of the British empire, has nurtured a culture that exerts formidable international influence. Key ingredients of that culture will be analyzed, along with the political and social features that made the nation distinctive. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 143b The American Tourist
[ ss ]
Tourism is more than sun and sand frivolity. It's a major cultural and economic force shaping our world and how we experience it. This course is designed to provide students with a multidisciplinary overview of tourism studies and American touristic encounters. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Ms. Powers

AMST 149a The Future as History
[ ss ]
Examines how visionaries, novelists, historians, social scientists, and futurologists in America from 1888 to the present have imagined and predicted America's future and what those adumbrations--correct and incorrect--tell us about our life today, tomorrow, and yesterday, when the predictions were made. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cohen

AMST 150a The History of Childhood and Youth in America
[ ss ]
Examines cultural ideas and policies about childhood and youth, as well as child-rearing and parenting strategies, child-saving, socialization, delinquency, children's literature, television, and other media for children and youth. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Antler

AMST 156b Transatlantic Crossings: America and Europe
[ ss ]
Examines how the United States has interacted with the rest of the world, especially Europe, as a promise, as a dream, as a cultural projection. Focuses less on the flow of people than on the flow of ideas, less on the instruments of foreign policy than on the institutions that have promoted visions of democracy, individual autonomy, power, and abundance. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 163b The Sixties: Continuity and Change in American Culture
[ ss ]
Analyzes alleged changes in the character structure, social usages, governing myths and ideas, artistic sensibility, and major institutions of America during the 1960s. What were the principal causes and occasions for the change? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cohen

AMST 166b Speaking the Truth to Power
[ ss ]
Examines the role and influence of public intellectuals in American society. Students explore the ideas put forth by some of the most influential public intellectuals in American life, and they are challenged to consider how and why those ideas have been rendered relevant to a mass audience. Students are also challenged to consider the impact the modern university has had on public intellectualism; the role the broadcast and Internet media are playing in the making of public intellectuals; and whether and how pundits are different from public intellectuals. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Farrelly

AMST 170a Conspiracy Theory
[ ss ]
Considers the "paranoid style" in America's political and popular culture and in recent American literature. Topics include allegations of "conspiracy" in connection with the Sacco and Vanzetti, Hiss, and Rosenberg cases; antisemitism and anti-Catholicism; and Watergate and Irangate. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cohen

AMST 177b True Crime and American Culture
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took USEM 64a in previous years.
Explores a series of enduringly fascinating cases from the true crime files of American culture. Our crime scene investigations range from 1692 Salem to 1994 Brentwood; our line-up includes witches, outlaws, kidnappers, gangsters, murderers, and serial killers; and our evidence is drawn from literature, film, and television. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Doherty

AMST 183b Sports and American Culture
[ ss ]
Studies how organized sports have reflected changes in the American cultural, social, and economic scene, and how they have reflected and shaped the moral codes, personal values, character, style, myths, attachments, sense of work and play, fantasy, and reality of fans and athletes. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cohen

AMST 185b The Culture of the Cold War
[ ss ]
Addresses American political culture from the end of World War II until the revival of liberal movements and radical criticism. Focuses on the specter of totalitarianism, the "end of ideology," McCarthyism, the crisis of civil liberties, and the strains on the pluralistic consensus in an era of anti-Communism. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 188b Louis Brandeis: Law, Business and Politics
[ ss ]
Brandeis's legal career serves as model and guide for exploring the ideals and anxieties of American legal culture throughout the twentieth century. Focuses on how legal values evolve in response to new technologies, corporate capitalism, and threats to personal liberty. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Gaskins

AMST 189a Legal Foundations of American Capitalism
[ ss ]
Surveys core legal institutions of property, contracts, and corporations. Examines how law promotes and restrains the development of capitalism and market society in America, from the era of mass production through the age of global trade and digital commerce. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Gaskins

AMST 190a Money, Markets and Morals in American Culture
[ ss ]
How have Americans expected businessess and people in business to behave? This course examines the ambivalences and complexities from the 17th century to the present, using case studies drawn from history, literature and social commentary. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Terris

AMST 191b Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving Environmental Sustainability of Brandeis and Community
[ oc ss ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
Get active, involved, and out of the classroom with this class! In this hands-on, field-based course we focus on the human impact on the world's natural resources, and explore strategies for creating healthy, resilient , environmentally sustainable communities in the face of increasingly daunting environmental challenges. Students also create projects that can change the face of Brandeis and the local community. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Goldin

AMST/SOC 125a History of U.S. Feminisms in a Global Context
[ ss ]
An investigation of the development and politics of women's rights in the United States. Explores the internal and external coalitions and conflicts at the nexus of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion. Examines the transnational shift to organizing for human rights. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Antler and Ms. Hansen

Cross-Listed in American Studies

AAAS 70a Introduction to Afro-American History
[ ss ]
A survey of the Afro-American experience from the era of slavery to the present. Topics include the rise of a distinct community and its institutions, reconstruction and segregation, the contributions of blacks to American society, and the struggles for freedom and equality. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Williams

AAAS 79b Afro-American Literature of the Twentieth Century
[ hum ss wi ]
An introduction to the essential themes, aesthetic concerns, and textual strategies that characterize Afro-American writing of this century. Examines those influences that have shaped the poetry, fiction, and prose nonfiction of representative writers. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman

AAAS 82a Urban Politics
[ ss ]
Examines urban politics in the United States from the early twentieth century to the present. Topics include urban political machines; minority political participation; the evolution of American suburbs; and racial, economic, and political inequities that challenge public policymaking. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Mapps

AAAS 114b Race, Ethnicity, and Electoral Politics in the United States
[ ss ]
Explores the role that racial and ethnic politics play in American political campaigns and elections. Readings provide historical, theoretical, and empirical overviews of racial and ethnic politics in four contexts: political parties, presidential elections, congressional campaigns, and state legislative contests. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Mapps

AAAS 156a The Civil Rights Movement
[ ss ]
Explores the civil rights movement through primary readings and films. Includes an assessment of the consequences of the movement and the ongoing controversies over the best ways to achieve equality for black Americans. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ANTH 158a Urban Anthropology
[ ss ]
Explores some of the essential concepts of urban theory and conducts an in-depth study of urban experiences around the world. Topics include the city and marginality, urban modernity, gender and public space, gentrification, suburbanization, transgression, and urban nature. Case studies may be from cities such as Lagos, New York, Paris, Dubai, and Rio de Janeiro. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Anjaria

ANTH 159a Museums and Public Memory
[ ss ]
Explores the social and political organization of public memory, including museums, cultural villages, and memorial sites. Who has the right to determine the content and form of such institutions? Working with local community members, students will develop a collaborative exhibition project. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ENG 6a American Literature in the Age of Lincoln
[ hum ]
The transformation of our literary culture: the literary marketplace, domestic fiction, transcendentalism, slavery and the problem of race. Authors will include Emerson, Fuller, Poe, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Stowe, Whitman, and Melville. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burt

ENG 7a American Literature from 1900 to 2000
[ hum wi ]
Focuses on literature and cultural and historical politics of major authors. Prose and poetry. May include Eliot, Frost, Williams, Moore, Himes, Cather, and Faulkner as well as contemporary authors. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burt or Ms. Irr

ENG 8a Twenty-First-Century American Literature
[ hum ]
An introductory survey of trends in recent American literature with a focus on prose. Readings vary yearly but always include winners of major literary prizes such as the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Award, or the Nobel Prize. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Irr

ENG 16a Slavery and Self-Making in African American Literature
[ hum ]
Critical investigation of African American writing as it engages slavery, freedom, and literary self-fashioning. We will read autobiographies, uplift novels, protest fiction and neo-slave narratives. Particular attention will be paid to issues of identity, sexuality, and social status; textual modes of representation and liberatory politics; the literary culture of sentiment; and African American constructions and contestations of race, gender, nation, and expressive culture since the antebellum period. Authors may include Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Gayl Jones, Harriet Wilson, William Wells Brown, Frances E. W. Harper, Pauline Hopkins, and Toni Morrison. Contemporary films may include Sankofa, Amistad, and Daughters of the Dust. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman or Ms. Smith

ENG 17a Alternative and Underground Journalism
[ hum ]
A critical history of twentieth-century American journalism. Topics include the nature of journalistic objectivity, the style of underground and alternative periodicals, and the impact of new technologies on independent media. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Irr

ENG 27b Classic Hollywood Cinema
[ hum ]
A critical examination of the history of mainstream U.S. cinema from the 1930s to the present. Focuses on major developments in film content and form, the rise and fall of the studio and star system, the changing nature of spectatorship, and the social context of film production and reception. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Morrison

ENG 36a America's First Bestsellers
[ hum ]
The first century of American bestsellers, what made these books so attractive to readers at the time? Explores themes of social mobility, racial and gender conflict, romance and seduction, and warfare. Authors include Cooper, Stowe, Alcott, and Crane. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

ENG 38b Race, Region, and Religion in the Twentieth-Century South
[ hum ]
Twentieth century fiction of the American South. Racial conflict, regional identity, religion, and modernization in fiction from both sides of the racial divide and from both sides of the gender line. Texts by Chestnutt, Faulkner, Warren, O'Connor, Gaines, McCarthy, and Ellison. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Burt

ENG 46a Rebelling in Print: Women, Reform, and the 19th-Century Novel
[ hum ]
Nineteenth-century novels by American women writers teach that a woman’s place is in the home; can these novels also be seen as radical? We'll focus on how these novels entered into the political and ideological debates of the time. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

ENG 50b American Independent Film
[ hum ]
Explores non-studio filmmaking in the United States. Defines an indie aesthetic and alternative methods of financing, producing, and distributing films. Special attention given to adaptations of major film genres, such as noir thrillers, domestic comedy, and horror. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Irr

ENG 57b Writing the Nation: James Baldwin, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison
[ hum ]
An in-depth study of three major American authors of the twentieth century. Highlights the contributions of each author to the American literary canon and to its diversity. Explores how these novelists narrate cross-racial, cross-gendered, cross-regional, and cross-cultural contact and conflict in the United States. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman

ENG 126a American Realism and Naturalism, 1865-1900
[ hum ]
Focuses on how some of the central American Realists and Naturalists set about representing and analyzing American social and political life. Topics include the changing status of individuals, classes, and genders, among others. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Burt

ENG 130b Writing the American Self: American Lives From Franklin to Eggers
[ hum ]
As a genre inextricably intertwined with individualism, autobiography has developed as an expression of American identity since the inception of the republic. Setting iconic personal narratives in the context of history and theories of life-writing, we will study works from Ben Franklin's autobiography and Frederick Douglass' "Narrative of the Life of a Slave" to Mary McCarthy's "Memoir of a Catholic Girlhood" and Dave Eggers' "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius." Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Lawrence

ENG 147a Film Noir
[ hum ]
A study of classics of the genre (The Killers, The Maltese Falcon, Touch of Evil) as well as more recent variations (Chinatown, Bladerunner). Readings include source fiction (Hemingway, Hammett) and essays in criticism and theory. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Morrison

ENG 157b American Women Poets
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: ENG 1a, ENG 10a, HUM 10a or ENG 11a.
Students imagine meanings for terms like "American" and "women" in relation to poetry. After introductory study of Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, and Emily Dickinson, readings of (and about) women whose work was circulated widely, especially among other women poets, will be selected from mainly twentieth-century writers. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Campbell or Ms. Skorczewski

ENG 166b Whitman, Dickinson, and Melville
[ hum ]
Poetry of Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson, and Melville, with representative poems of Whittier, Bryant, Longfellow, Poe, Sigourney, and Tuckerman. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Burt

ENG 167b 20th-Century Black Fiction
[ hum ]
A study of experimental fiction of prominent twentieth-century African-American authors. Investigates features of the postmodern novel including disruptive chronologies, the representation of fragmented identities, intertextual play and parody, and the critique of Western modernity as long-standing practices in black writing. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman

ENG 177a Hitchcock's Movies
[ hum ]
A study of thirteen films covering the whole trajectory of Hitchcock's career, as well as interviews and critical responses. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Morrison

ENG 180a The Modern American Short Story
[ hum ]
Close study of American short-fiction masterworks. Students read as writers write, discussing solutions to narrative obstacles, examining the consequences of alternate points of view. Studies words and syntax to understand and articulate how technical decisions have moral and emotional weight. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

ENG 187a American Fiction since 1945
[ hum ]
Readings of contemporary postrealist and postmodernist fiction. Authors and themes vary but always include major figures such as Nabokov, Pynchon, DeLillo. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Irr

ENG 187b The International Novel
[ hum wi ]
Studies twentieth- and twenty-first century English-language fiction on the international experience. Authors are exiles, expatriates, tourists and refugees—mainly but not exclusively those crossing the US border. Authors may include James, Hemingway, Nabokov, and/or Eggers. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Irr

FA 56a American Art
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 123a in prior years.
A survey of American painting from the colonial period to the present. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kalb

FA 85a History of Boston Architecture
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 22b in prior years.
A survey of the history of modern and contemporary Boston architecture and urban planning from the immigration of great European modernist architects to the contemporary city. The presentation will be chronological and focused on the last two centuries. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Grigor

FA 157a American Modernism: Painting & Photography 1900-1950
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 173a in prior years.
The focus of this lecture course will be the art of Georgia O'Keeffe, her stylistic evolution, sources, and collaboration with contemporaries, especially Stieglitz, Strand, Dove, Demuth, Marin, and Hartley. Their collective aesthetic aspirations will be set against early twentieth-century modernism and important recent trends from Europe. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Scott

FYS 43b JustBooks: Visions of the American Environment, Images to Action
[ hum ]
Explores the role of the natural environment in the North American vision through the lens of books and selected readings, films and art. We focus on the 1800's to present as we consider how these works reflect our relationship with the environment over time and shape our treatment of natural resources as we address daunting environmental challenges. As we examine a series of broad environmental themes and issues, including environmental justice concerns and the meaning of "place" and "home" in the American vision, our field trips and hands-on work with local groups help bring our studies to life and meaning. Offered as part of the JustBooks program.
Ms. Goldin (Environmental Studies)

HISP 194b Borderland Literature and Visual Culture in Latin America and the United States
[ hum nw wi ]
Open to all students; conducted in English.
Examines literature, visual art, and cinema produced at the intersection between North and South America, focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Southern United States, and immigrant Latino communities. We consider works by William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, Junot Díaz, Roberto Bolaño, Coco Fusco, Lourdes Portillo, and Luis Valdez, among others. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Arellano

HIST 51a History of the United States: 1607-1865
[ ss ]
An introductory survey of American history to the Civil War. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 51b History of the United States: 1865 to the Present
[ ss ]
An introductory survey of American history from the Civil War to the present. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 144a Mapping Boston’s Religions: A Digital History Seminar
[ ss ]
Studies a history of religion in the nineteenth-century United States, looking especially at interactions between diverse religions. Students will create a collaborative, student-directed digital history project as the main work for the course. Special one-time offering, spring 2014.
Mr. Mullen

HIST 151b The American Revolution
[ ss ]
Explores the causes, character, and consequences of the American war for independence. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 152a American History, American Literature
[ ss ]
Readings and discussions on the classical literature of American history, the great books that have shaped our sense of the subject. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 153b Slavery and the American Civil War
[ ss ]
A survey of the history of slavery, the American South, the antislavery movement, the coming of the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 157a Labor and Class Conflict in America, 1676-2012
[ ss ]
Despite the persistent ideal of a "classless" society, questions of class and the nature of labor have informed much of America’s history. Beginning in the colonial period, this course explores the idea that a job is never just a job; it is also a social signifier of great value. Topics include slavery and servitude, race and gender in the workplace, household labor and its meanings, working-class political movements, the role of the state in shaping patterns of work, and modern debates over economic inequality. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Bowman

HIST 158b Social History of the Confederate States of America
[ ss ]
An examination of the brief life of the southern Confederacy, emphasizing regional, racial, class, and gender conflicts within the would-be new nation. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Cooper

HIST 160a American Legal History I
[ ss ]
Surveys American legal development from colonial settlement to the Civil War. Major issues include law as an instrument of revolution, capitalism and contract, invention of the police, family law, slavery law, and the Civil War as a constitutional crisis. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 160b American Legal History II
[ ss ]
Survey of American legal development from 1865 to the present. Major topics include constitutionalism and racial inequality, the legal response to industrialization, progressivism and the transformation of liberalism, the rise of the administrative state, and rights-based movements for social justice. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 161b American Political History
[ ss ]
Development of American party politics, the legal system, and government. Special attention paid to the social and cultural determinants of party politics, and economic and social policymaking. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 164b The American Century: The U.S. and the World, 1945 to the Present
[ ss wi ]
America's global role expanded dramatically in the aftermath of World War II. Explores key aspects of that new role, from the militarization of conflict with the Soviets to activities in the Third World. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 166b World War II
[ ss ]
Focuses on the American experience in World War II. From the 1920s to the early 1940s, totalitarian regimes were widely believed to be stronger than open societies. The outcome of World War II demonstrated the opposite. By combining the methods of the old military and political history with the new social, cultural, and economic history, examines history as a structured sequence of contingencies, in which people made choices and choices made a difference. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 168b America in the Progressive Era: 1890-1920
[ ss ]
Surveys social and political history during the pivotal decades when America became a "modern" society and nation-state. Topics include populism, racial segregation, social science and public policy, the Roosevelt and Wilson administrations, environmental conservation, and the domestic impact of World War I. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 169a Thought and Culture in Modern America
[ ss wi ]
Developments in American philosophy, literature, art, and political theory examined in the context of socioeconomic change. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Engerman

HIST 189b Reading and Research in American History
[ ss ]
Advanced coordinated research from primary materials. Students will engage in a common project in American social history. Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fischer

HIST 195a American Political Thought: From the Revolution to the Civil War
[ ss ]
Antebellum America as seen in the writings of Paine, Jefferson, Adams, the Federalists and Antifederalists, the Federalists and Republicans, the Whigs and the Jacksonians, the advocates and opponents of slavery, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 195b American Political Thought: From the Gilded Age through the New Deal
[ ss ]
Topics include the Mugwumps, Populists, Progressives; Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; the New Nationalism and the New Freedom; the continuities and discontinuities of the New Deal and the Progressive Era. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 196a American Political Thought: From the 1950s to the Present
[ ss ]
Covers the New Left of the 1960s, its rejection of the outlook of the 1950s, the efforts of liberals to save the New Left agenda in the New Politics of the 1970s, and the reaction against the New Left in the neoconservative movement. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HS 104b American Health Care
[ ss ]
Examines and critically analyzes the United States health care system, emphasizing the major trends and issues that have led to the current sense of "crisis." In addition to providing a historical perspective, this course will establish a context for analyzing the current, varied approaches to health care reform. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Altman

HS 110a Wealth and Poverty
[ ss ]
Examines why the gap between richer and poorer citizens appears to be widening in the United States and elsewhere, what could be done to reverse this trend, and how the widening disparity affects major issues of public policy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Shapiro

JOUR 45a Sports Writing
[ ss wi ]
Applies skills in research, interviewing, and direct observation to write game stories, features, and opinion pieces about sports. Students learn to also see and write about sports in the broader context of business, political and social issues. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. May

JOUR 104a Political Packaging in America
[ ss ]
Examines the history of political marketing, image making in presidential campaigns, the relationship between news and ads, and the growth of public-policy advertising by special-interest groups to influence legislation. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. McNamara

JOUR 107b Media and Public Policy
[ ss wi ]
Examines the intersection of the media and politics, the ways in which each influences the other, and the consequences of that intersection for a democracy. Through analytic texts, handouts, and contemporaneous newspaper and magazine articles, explores the relationship between policy decisions and public discourse. Usually offered every year.
Ms. McNamara

JOUR 109b Digital and Multimedia Journalism
[ ss wi ]
The fast-changing landscape of new information technologies, from the Internet to wireless networking, is redefining the nature and practice of journalism today. This course explores the political, sociological, legal, and ethical issues raised by these new media technologies. The Internet, in particular, is a double-edged sword: It poses both a real threat and opportunity to newspapers and television news, and to the concept of the media's watchdog role in a democracy. It also provides journalists with powerful new tools for news gathering, but often at the expense of individual privacy rights. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Bass

JOUR 110b Ethics in Journalism
[ ss wi ]
Should reporters ever misrepresent themselves? Are there pictures that newspapers should not publish? Is it ever acceptable to break the law in pursuit of a story? Examines the media's ethics during an age dominated by scandal and sensationalism. May be combined with an experiential learning practicum (EL 94a). Usually offered every year.
Ms. McNamara

JOUR 112b Literary Journalism: The Art of Feature Writing
[ ss wi ]
Introduces students to signal works of literary journalism. Helps develop the students' own voices by honing and improving students' own work and by critiquing the work of professionals and colleagues. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. May

JOUR 114b Arts Journalism
[ ss wi ]
Introduces students to cultural reporting, profiling, and criticism. Students read and discuss the work of notable past and present practitioners with the aim of enhancing their skills as both consumers and producers of arts journalism. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

JOUR 120a The Culture of Journalism
[ ss ]
Examines the social, cultural, political, and economic influences on the practice and profession of journalism. Provides the background and concepts for a critical analysis of the American press. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Farrelly

LGLS 10a Introduction to Law
[ oc ss ]
Surveys the nature, process, and institutions of law: the reasoning of lawyers and judges, the interplay of cases and policies, the impact of history and culture, and the ideals of justice and responsibility in a global context. Usually offered every fall.
Mr. Gaskins

LGLS 114a American Health Care: Law and Policy
[ ss ]
Not recommended for freshmen.
Focuses on individual rights, highlights how our laws and policies affect American health care. Traces the evolution of the doctor-patient relationship; explores access issues, including whether health care is or should be a fundamental right; assesses the quality of care and the impact of malpractice; and examines the cost of having (or not having) adequate health insurance. Concludes with options and prospects for meaningful reform. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Curi

LGLS 114aj American Health Care: Law and Policy
[ ss ]
Emphasizes the interplay of law, public policy, and social justice, focusing on health care reform. After considering the background leading up to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the policy innovations it promotes, particularly with regard to cost, quality, and access, students will consider the current challenges to implementing this ambitious law. By examining the complex structure of the American health care system, in contrast to systems in other advanced countries, we will explore to what extent the ACA promotes the just distribution of quality health care. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Ms. Noble

LGLS 116b Civil Liberties: Constitutional Debates
[ ss ]
Formerly offered as LGLS/POL 116b.
The history and politics of civil liberties and civil rights in the United States, with emphasis on the period from World War I to the present. Emphasis on freedom of speech, religion, abortion, privacy, racial discrimination, and affirmative action. Readings from Supreme Court cases and influential works by historians and political philosophers. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Breen

LGLS 120a Sex Discrimination and the Law
[ ss ]
Traces the evolution of women's rights in the family, in employment, and in the reproductive process, as well as constitutional doctrines. Examines gender inequalities and assesses if and how the law should address them. Legal cases studied emphasize how law reflects society. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

LGLS 138b Science on Trial
[ qr ss ]
Surveys the procedures and analytic methods by which scientific data enter into litigation and regulation/policy making. Introduces basic tools of risk analysis and legal rules of evidence. Case studies of tobacco litigation and regulation; use of DNA and other forensic evidence in the criminal justice system; the Woburn ground-water contamination case; and other topics to be selected, such as genetics in the courtroom, court-ordered Cesarean sections, polygraph testing, alternative medicine, and genetically modified foods. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

LGLS 140b Investigating Justice
[ ss ]
Examines methods used by journalists and other investigators in addressing injustices within criminal and civil legal systems. Problems include wrongful convictions, civil rights, privacy protection, and ethical conflicts. Research methods and reporting techniques enhance skills in interviewing, writing, and oral presentation. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kabrhel

MUS 32b Elements of Jazz
[ ca ]
Open to music majors and non-majors.
Examines the development of Jazz styles from the origins of Jazz in the late 1800’s through today's Jazz masters. Early Jazz, Swing, Bebop, Cool, the year 1959, and Avant Garde are some of the styles we will be examining through recordings, videos, and in-class performances by local jazz musicians. The emphasis will be on learning how to listen to the various layers of the music and recognize specific stylistic techniques. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Nieske

NEJS 153b Abraham Joshua Heschel: Spirituality and Action
[ hum wi ]
Abraham Heschel's Hasidic spirituality and militant social action provide a meeting ground for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. We examine his writings on prayer, mysticism, religious education, the prophets, the Holocaust, Israel, interfaith relations, civil rights, and the Vietnam war. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kaplan

NEJS 162a American Judaism
[ hum ss wi ]
American Judaism from the earliest settlement to the present, with particular emphasis on the various streams of American Judaism. Judaism's place in American religion and comparisons to Judaism in other countries. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 162b It Couldn't Happen Here: Three American Anti-Semitic Episodes
[ hum ]
A close examination of three American anti-Semitic episodes: U.S. Grant's expulsion of the Jews during the Civil War, the Leo Frank case, and the publication of Henry Ford's The International Jew. What do these episodes teach us about anti-Semitic prejudice, about Jews, and about America as a whole? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 164a Judaism Confronts America
[ hum ]
Examines, through a close reading of selected primary sources, central issues and tensions in American Jewish life, paying attention to their historical background and to issues of Jewish law. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 164b The Sociology of the American Jewish Community
[ hum ss ]
Open to all students.
A survey exploring transformations in modern American Jewish societies, including American Jewish families, organizations, and behavior patterns in the second half of the twentieth century. Draws on social science texts, statistical studies, and qualitative research; also makes use of a broad spectrum of source materials, examining evidence from journalism, fiction, film, and other cultural artifacts. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Fishman

NEJS 165b Changing Roles of Women in American Jewish Societies
[ hum ]
Open to all students.
The lives of American Jews, and especially American Jewish women, have been radically transformed by demographic changes and by American Jewish feminism. These dramatic transformations affect secular and Jewish education for women, personal options and the formation of Jewish families, a growing participation of women in public Jewish life, and a new awareness of women's issues. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ms. Fishman

NEJS 167a Twentieth-Century Jewish Immigration to the United States
[ hum ss ]
Open to all students.
A historical survey of twentieth-century Jewish immigration to the United States, including East European, Sephardic, Cuban, Persian, Mizrahi, and Soviet Jewish immigrations. Regular readings will be supplemented by primary sources, immigrant fiction, and film. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sarna

NEJS 173b American Jewish Writers in the Twentieth Century
[ hum ]
American Jewish fiction in the twentieth century presents a panorama of Jewish life from immigration through contemporary times. Short stories, novels, and memoirs illuminate how changing educational and occupational opportunities, transformations in family life, shifting relationships between the genders, and conflict between Jewish and American value systems have played themselves out in lives of Jewish Americans. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Fishman

NEJS 176a Seminar in American Jewish Fiction: Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick
[ hum wi ]
Focusing in depth on the works of two major American Jewish writers, Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick, and paying close attention to their development as artists and to the evolution of their explorations of Jewish themes, this course will offer students the opportunity to delve into each author's oeuvre. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ms. Fishman

PHIL 74b Foundations of American Pragmatism
[ hum ]
Introduction to American instrumentalism as a philosophical movement and cultural force. Special attention to pragmatic imprints on law and science across the twentieth century. Recurring critical debates over ethical relativism, religious skepticism, legal activism, and the cult of scientific and professional expertise. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Gaskins

POL 14b Introduction to American Government
[ ss ]
Open to first-year students.
Analysis of American political institutions: Congress, the presidency, Supreme Court, bureaucracy, political parties, pressure groups, and problems of governmental decision making in relation to specific areas of public policy. Usually offered every semester.
Ms. Greenlee or Mr. Woll

POL 101a Parties, Interest Groups, and Public Opinion
[ ss ]
Role and organization of political parties, interest groups, and public opinion in the American political system. Emphasis on historical development and current political behavior in the United States in relation to American democratic theory. Comparison with other countries to illuminate U.S. practice. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

POL 105a Elections in America
[ ss ]
Examines modern campaigns and elections to the United States presidency and Congress. Topics include the influence of partisanship, policy differences, and candidate images on the vote; the impact of money on campaigns; the role of the mass media; and the differences among presidential, Senate, and House elections. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

POL 108aj The Police and Social Movements in American Politics
[ ss ]
Analyses American mass political movements, their interaction with police, and their influences on American politics. Topics include the relationship between social movements and various political institutions. Explore various theories with case studies of specific political movements. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Kryder

POL 111a The American Congress
[ ss ]
The structure and behavior of the Congress. Emphasis on the way member incentives for reelection, power on Capitol Hill, and good public policy shape Congress. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

POL 115a Constitutional Law
[ ss ]
Analysis of core principles of constitutional law as formulated by the Supreme Court. Primary focus on the First Amendment, the equal protection and due process clauses, federalism, the commerce clause, and the separation of powers. Emphasis also on the moral values and political theories that form our constitutional system. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Woll

POL 116b Civil Liberties in America
[ ss ]
The history and politics of civil liberties and civil rights in the United States, with emphasis on the period from World War I to the present. Emphasis on freedom of speech, religion, abortion, privacy, racial discrimination, and affirmative action. Readings from Supreme Court cases and influential works by historians and political philosophers. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 117a Administrative Law
[ ss ]
The role of administrative agencies in lawmaking and adjudication. Emphasis on the problem of defining and protecting the public interest, as well as the rights of individuals and groups directly involved in administrative proceedings. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Woll

POL 120b The Politics of Policymaking
[ ss ]
Examines the connection between politics and policymaking to identify the political determinants of public policy since the 1970’s. By paying close attention to what policy makers say about what they are doing, the course connects the world of ideas to the world of actions. The course examines concrete cases from specific time periods across a wide range of policy areas such as health care, tax policy, Social Security, education reform, immigration, tort reform,and deregulation. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Levin

POL 125a Women in American Politics
[ ss ]
Addresses three major dimensions of women's political participation: social reform and women-identified issues; women's organizations and institutions; and women politicians, electoral politics, and party identification. Covers historical context and contemporary developments in women's political activity. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Greenlee

POL 167a United States and China in World Politics
[ ss ]
Issues in U.S.-China relations, including Taiwan and Tibet, the formation of a Greater China, military security and use of nuclear weapons, human rights, Chinese and American versions of nationalism and internationalism, and others. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Thaxton

POL 168b American Foreign Policy
[ ss ]
Overview of America's foreign policy since 1945. Topics include the Cold War era, the economic competitiveness of the United States, the role of the United States in selected world regions, the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. participation in the United Nations, post-Cold War foreign policy, and the making and implementing of foreign policy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Art

SOC 122a The Sociology of American Immigration
[ ss ]
Most of us descend from immigrants. Focusing on the United States but in a global perspective, we address the following questions: Why do people migrate? How does this affect immigrants' occupations, gendered households, rights, identities, youth, and race relations with other groups? Usually offered every second year.
Staff

SOC 156aj Social Change in American Communities
[ ss ]
Provides a theoretical foundation for understanding social movement dynamics, with a particular emphasis on the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Topics will include modes of civil rights organizing, the mobilization of social, cultural, and material resources, the development of strategic and tactical repertoires, determinants of individual participation, and varieties of anti-civil rights enforcement. The central aim is to provide a historically-contextualized and theoretically-informed sense of the trajectory of the civil rights struggle in the U.S. South. We will pay particular attention to sources of local variation, to understand the interplay among community-level contexts, individual action, and socio-political legacies. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Cunningham

THA 66a The American Drama since 1945
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took THA 150a in prior years.
Examines the major plays and playwrights representing styles from social realism to avant-garde performance groups and the theater of images. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Holmberg

THA 123a American Musical Theater
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took THA 25a in prior years.
Analyzes American musicals in their historical contexts: students learn how to analyze the structure and score of musicals, and develop a vocabulary for examining the visual dimensions of productions. Attention will be given to production histories. Usually offered every year.
Mr. McKittrick

THA 165b Tough Guys and Femmes Fatales: Gender Trouble in Noir and Neo-Noir
[ ca ]
Looking at gender anxiety in noir and neo-noir, this course explores how the genre has evolved and what this evolution reveals about the ongoing negotiations of masculinity, femininity, and power. Attention paid to how actors embody and perform masculinity. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Holmberg

WMGS 106b Women in the Health Care System
[ ss ]
Explores the scientific, social, and policy issues surrounding the role of women in health care throughout the human life span. We will examine the challenges faced, and successes achieved, by women in the healthcare system as providers, teachers, researchers, managers, policy-makers, care-givers, and recipients of health care. Usually offered every spring.
Ms. Klerman or Ms. Bhalotra