This discussion course examines the cultural role of Disney in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will consider a range of material including the history of Disney studios, the films, the theme parks, and the planned residential community “Celebration,” to interrogate how Disney as both a corporation and a cultural icon promotes and reinforces particular, national ideals.
Presented both chronologically and thematically, the course will encourage students to engage with aesthetic, ideological and theoretical concerns regarding history, identity, space/place, and popular culture.
AMST 2500 Language and New Media
Ashley Williams - MW 3:30-4:45 pm, Bryan Hall 328
In this course we investigate the interactional relationship between language and American society with a focus on New Media contexts. More specifically, we consider how language both shapes and is shaped by society in email, texting, Facebook, blogging, online gaming, YouTube, and more. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that draws from fields such an anthropology, linguistics, media & communication studies, psychology, and sociology, we turn our analytical and critical gaze to how social constructions (including race, gender, class, ideology, power, and youth) variably influence, are created by, and are realized in New Media genres.
AMST 2500 "American Photography Since 1945"
Dave Woody - TuTh 9:30-10:45 am, McLeod Hall 2006
This course examines different strains in American photography produced between World War ll and the 1980's, and their influence on American culture and thought. Using readings, lectures and films as well as photographs, we will explore this fertile period in American art. Topics covered include landscape photography and social documentary photography’s evolution since the 1940’s. We will look at work from a variety of artists and movements, including the Beat Generation, Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, and the New Topographics of the 1970’s.
AMST 2500 "American Studies in the Digital Age"
Jeremy Boggs - W 6:30-9:00 pm, Monroe Hall 114
This course introduces students to some of the major themes and developments in digital media and teaches them how to do American Studies work with new technologies. Blending the theoretical and the practical, we will discuss the intellectual problems that arise when working in digital forms while learning practical skills and applications in a variety of settings. Topics include methodologies for research with digital tools, the impact of collaborative and social media on the practice of American Studies, teaching and learning with new media, and basic web site design and development. Students will investigate the potential advantages and disadvantages of a variety of web technologies, and focus on a particular question or theme in American Studies to produce a digital project.
Arts and Cultures of the Slave South
Maurie McInnis, Louis Nelson - MW, 2-3:15 pm, Minor Hall 125
“Arts and Cultures of the Slave South” is an undergraduate, interdisciplinary course that covers the American South to the Civil War. While the course centers on the visual arts—architecture, material culture, decorative arts, painting, and sculpture—it is not designed as a regional history of art, but an exploration of the interrelations between history, material and visual cultures, foodways, music and literature in the formation of Southern identities. The course will cover subjects ranging from African American spirituals to creolization and ethnicities in Louisiana, from the plantation architectures of both big house and outbuildings to the narratives of former slaves. In the process, students will be introduced to the interpretive methods central to a wide range of disciplines, from archaeology and anthropology, to art and architectural history, to material culture, literature, and musicology. In addition to two weekly lectures by co-faculty Maurie McInnis and Louis Nelson, students will also attend weekly discussion sections and special events including guest lectures, field trip, a movie night, and samplings of traditional southern foods.
AMST 3001 - Theories and Methods of American Studies
Matthew Hedstrom - TuTh, 3:30-4:45 pm, Bryan Hall 334
Lisa Goff - MW - 2:00-3:15 pm, New Cabell 320
AMST 3180 - Introduction to Asian American Studies
Sylvia Chong - MW, 2-3:15, Maury Hall 115
AMST 4500 - Fourth-Year Seminar in American Studies
Warhol’s New York
Eric Lott - MW, 5:00 -6:15 pm, Monroe Hall 114
This course uses the broad network of conceptual (and personal) connections to the work of artist Andy Warhol to map cultural, political, and aesthetic interventions in (and by) New York City over the last fifty or so years. This will amount to an interdisciplinary survey of some of the great works of urban action and expression in the last half-century of New York City cultural history. Topics and texts to be addressed include Warhol and the advent and institution of Pop Art (and its inheritors); Warhol’s “writings,” from his novels to his Diaries; Warhol’s influence on the history of avant-garde cinema; the Velvet Underground and their many musical offshoots and heirs; queer and feminist responses to Warhol then (e.g., Valerie Solanis and her SCUM manifesto) and now (e.g., Pop Out and after); Warhol’s influence on punk and the CBGB scene as well as on disco and the Studio 54 scene; commodity culture and its relation to the art world generally; Warhol’s mentorship of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the racial politics thereof; and, in honor of UVa Rector Dragas, current Warhol inheritors such as Lady GaGa.
AMST 4893 - Independent Study in Asian Pacific American Studies