AMST 218
The Cultural Politics of the 1970s Spring 2015
Division II
Cross-listed SOC 214 / AMST 218
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

In popular imaginations today, the 1970s is often remembered scornfully as the “Me Decade” (as Tom Wolfe coined it) or nostalgically for its disco, drug culture, and bell bottom jeans (think That 70s Show). However, the 1970s marked a decisive (and divisive) moment of flux and transition in the United States away from the progressive mood of the 1960s to the conservative outlook of the 1980s. While many scholars have located the origins of contemporary neoliberalism in the 1970s, this course aims to unpack any simple historical trajectory by focusing rather on the social and cultural contradictions of the period. In analysis of film, fiction, memoir, performance art, and other cultural texts – as well as scholarly work from and about the period – we will consider how the history of the 1970s lends insight into contemporary questions of identity, social movements, political economy, and global politics.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: none
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: students will be required to write 4 or 5 short (2-3 page) response papers and a final (10 pg) paper; regular participation is also required which might involve in-class writing exercises or group work
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: AMST and SOC majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
SOC 214 Division II AMST 218 Division II

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