AMST 101
America: the Nation and Its Discontents Fall 2017 (also offered Spring 2018)
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
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America is a bundle of myths and ideas, and being an American has always meant more than U.S. citizenship. This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture. We will focus on the workings of that culture as it has been shaped by factors such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, place, and religion. Over the semester, we will ask critical questions of a wide variety of materials: essays, novels, autobiographies, poems, photographs, films, music, visual art, architecture, urban plans, historical documents and legal texts. In this course, we critique notions of American exceptionalism and grapple with questions of power and imagination, struggle and social change, empire, nation and borders, inequality, assimilation, aesthetic form, and the role of the U.S. and its products in the world. Because it focuses on such questions of power and privilege, difference and commonality, this course satisfies the EDI requirement.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25 F 19 S
Expected: 19
Class#: 1029
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Fall--two or three essays (about 7 pages each); class participation; some sections may have additional short writing assignments or field trips; Spring--regular writing assignments, including revisions, for a total of 20+ pages; class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: sophomores and first-year students
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: Spring section ONLY carries the Writing Intensive designation.
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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