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AMERICAN STUDIES UNDERGRADUATE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS - SPRING 2014

 

182.001 - Intro to Environment, Science & Tech     TR     12:30 – 1:45     DSH 227     Estes

Arts & Sciences group:  Social Science / Core Curriculum:  Social Science

This is an introduction to American attitudes toward nature, science, technology and the impacts of those attitudes on built and natural environments regionally, nationally and globally. This course covers the period from World War II to the present, focusing on the environmental effects of such diverse scientific and technological products as chemical pesticides, nuclear power, and television.

 

In this course we will look at current environmental issues, delving into contentious topics and passionate debates, while asking difficult questions. How does consumerism impact the environment, and how much stuff do we really need? Is wilderness a necessity or a luxury? Should an endangered fish have water rights? Are pesticides giving us cancer? We'll consider debates within the scientific community, explore conflicts between developers and environmentalists, and look at the promise and limitations of technological solutions.

 

 

183.001 - Introduction to Gender Studies     TR     12:30 – 1:45     MITCH 121     Griffis 

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course focuses on the interdisciplinary study of the construction of gender as a category.  Readings will span cross-cultural and historical materials, including literary, artistic, and popular representations of masculinity and femininity in America.

 

More specifically, this course will consider:

What does it mean to be or become a woman or man?  Is there a basic essence to femininity and masculinity, which remains unchanged throughout time and place?  Or are our concepts of what constitutes femininity and masculinity historically and culturally specific and mutable?  What are the processes and mechanisms by which our understandings of gender are produced, maintained, or changed?  This course addresses these questions, offering students a stimulating, accessible introduction to the depth and breadth of work on gender from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The field of gender studies is dynamic and diverse, full of debate, controversy, and inquiry over issues of representation, identity, meaning, interpretation, and politics.  We will explore these issues through contemporary writings on gender that intersect with sex, race, sexuality, and class.  As much as this course is an introduction to a body of work – both scholarly and popular, written and visual - that focuses on gender, it is also a course that interrogates the material.  Thus students will be working on their critical reading/ writing skills.

 

 

184.001 - Intro to American Pop Culture     TR     11:00 – 12:15     ORTG 153     Smalls

184.002 - Intro to American Pop Culture     TR     5:30 – 6:45                                Ernest

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

Popular culture can be defined as the beliefs and practices that characterize a particular culture, as well as the objects, narratives, and rituals through which they are organized and that are widely shared, enjoyed, and understood among a population.  It is also generally understood as the culture of ordinary people, as opposed to highly educated or specialized elites.

 

This course examines many aspects of popular culture, including movies, action figures and other toys, cartoons/comics, advertising, television, and urban legends. The class involves learning how to read popular culture as a text and as an indicator of societal norms, diversions, and diversities.

 

 

185.002 - Intro to Race/Class/Ethnicity     MWF     3:00 – 3:50                           Fuller

185.003 - Intro to Race/Class/Ethnicity     T           5:30 – 8:00     ORTG 115     Olorunsiwa

Arts & Sciences group:  Social Sciences/Core Curriculum: Social Sciences

This is an interdisciplinary introduction to the issues, and social and cultural formation of race, class and ethnicity in American life and society.  The course is designed to foster an appreciation of the heterogeneity of experience in American life.  The course is focused on the study of cross-cultural group relations.

 

More specifically, this course will consider:

Who are you?  For most of us, self-description includes our race, class, and ethnicity, but what do these terms mean?  Are these terms fixed and unchanging?  This course introduces the terms, race, class and ethnicity and offers a critical discussion of their historical meaning and their meaning in modern society.  We will pay attention to cross-cultural and interdisciplinary themes within these definitions.

 

 

186.001 - Intro to Southwest Studies     MWF     1:00 – 1:50     CENT 1028     Cammack

186.004 - Intro to Southwest Studies     MW       5:30 – 6:45                             Lopez

186.005 - Intro to Southwest Studies     T           4:00 – 6:30                             Denetdale

Arts & Sciences group:  Humanities/ Core Curriculum: Humanities

Provides both an introduction to the complex history and culture of the southwestern United States and a demonstration of the possibilities of the interdisciplinary study of regional American culture.  It is multicultural in content and multidisciplinary in methodology.  Examines cross-cultural relationships among the peoples of the Southwest within the framework of their expressions and experiences in art, culture, religion, and social and political economy.

 

More specifically, this course will consider:

What is this place we call the Southwest?  How is it defined- geographically, politically, and culturally?  Who are the people that live there?  How have their lives been transformed by social and historical forces into the cultures we see today?  At the same time, how have these same groups retained their traditions, customs, and beliefs in response to change?  This course will explore contemporary Southwestern cultures, their multiple voices and culture expressions, using an interdisciplinary approach that draws from geography, anthropology, history, literature, and the arts.

 

 

201.001 - Introduction to Chicana and Chicano  Studies     TR     12:30 – 1:45     MITCH 119     Trujillo

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 201, Introduction to Chicana and Chicano Studies.

This course is will introduce students to the field of Chicano/a Studies and provide an introductory exploration of historical, political, social, and cultural dimensions of the Mexican American experience in the United States, with special reference to New Mexico.

 

 

285.001 - American Life and Thought     TR     9:30 – 10:45     MITCH 121     Mays

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

American Life and Thought: Work Life in America. This course focuses on modern American life as it is shaped by the technologies of mass industrialization. We consider how an American Studies framework defines nation, citizenship, and cultural values and how these concepts are shaped by modern technologies.  Our studies cut across race, class, and gender to critique U.S. narratives of cultural diversity and multiculturalism. (Note: this course is required for all American Studies majors and minors.)

 

 

303.001 - Law in the Political Community     T     5:30 – 8:00     DSH 226     Ganjei

Arts & Sciences group: Social Science

Also offered as POLS 303, Law in the Political Community.

The purpose of this course is twofold: to introduce students to the principal features of the American legal system as a part of the political system, and perhaps more importantly, to equip the students with a set of analytical tools that they can use to analyze how actors and institutions operate within this system and why they behave in certain ways. With a critical eye, we will explore how the law functions as a tool and an institution of government, the presidency, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, etc. Furthermore, we will examine the role played by the court system in the formation and implementation of public policy.

 

 

309.002 - Youth, Power & Social Movements     T     4:00 – 6:30     Tiongson

This course examines contemporary youth involvement in social movements through the lens of social movement theory and youth studies. It focuses in particular on youth activism in the post-Civil Rights era. The course explores the circumstances under which youth-based and youth-led social movements emerge as well as the role of youth expressive forms and forms of technology in the formation, development, and political trajectory of these movements. At the same time, the course examines how youth conceive of social justice and social change and how youth go about framing social issues. To accomplish this, we will scrutinize a select number of sites and forums where youth are engaging in activism, including youth involvement in the global justice movement, anti-corporate activism, the prison abolition movement, the immigrant rights movement, and the anti-war movement. Ultimately, the course attempts to draw larger theoretical lessons about the nature of power, social change, and contemporary youth politics.

 

 

309.003 - Chicano-a Movement     W     5:30 – 7:00     ORTG 221     Vasquez

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course examines the Chicano Movement beyond the 1960s Civil Rights Era, exploring the precursors to the political movement as well as the legacies of the Chicana/o movement and its effect on society and academia.

 

 

310.001 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature     TR     9:30 – 10:45     DSH 333     Marquez

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with ENGL 315.012, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature.

The topic of this course is Southwest Literature and Film. This comparative study of literature and film will examine Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo perspectives on the Southwest. It will consider the social, political, and cultural themes presented in significant works of fiction and reflected in cinema. Novels and films will include Edward Abbey, The Brave Cowboy; Larry McMurtry, The Last Picture Show; Richard Bradford, Red Sky at Morning; Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me Ultima; John Nichols, The Milagro Beanfield War; Leslie Silko, Ceremony; Tony Hillerman, Skinwalkers; Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men. The conjunction of reading the novels and viewing the films will lead to critical discussion of cultural material, themes, techniques and comparative study of literature and film.

 

 

310.002 - Religion in American History     TR     2:00 – 3:15     MITCH 211     Ray

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with RELG 347, Religion in American History

The United States is the most religiously diverse nation in the world, and religion is an integral part of American social, cultural, and political discourse. In this course, we will look at the ways various Americans have understood and expressed this important aspect of their identity, how American culture as a whole has been shaped by religion, and how Americans have dealt with religious differences historically. The class will cover the rise and development of American religious movements, from Native American traditions and European colonization to revolution, revivalism, and disestablishment (Unit 1); nineteenth-century ferment, westward expansion, and the migration of new religious groups (Unit 2); world war and ideological upheaval in the twentieth century; and modern challenges vis à vis religion in communities, schools, and public institutions (Unit 3). A variety of media will be used for the course, including music, film, and visual images and objects.

 

 

310.003 - Community Based Learning     T     7:00 – 9:30     MITCH 106     Uvina

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 384, Community Based Learning in Chicana and Chicano Studies.

This course offers students the opportunity to engage in community-based learning at a selected Community-Based Organization site of their choice. The course broadens student knowledge and understanding of global and local economic and social realities.

 

 

310.004 - Borderlands Poetics     MWF     2:00 – 2:50     MITCH 219     Staff

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 393, Borderlands Poetics: Writers, Community y Justicia.

This course is a writing workshop focused on Chican@ poetics and other literary works. It is intended for individual students to read and analyze Chican@ poetry and poetics (explications), as well as write and work within the classroom environment and community at large. Together we will explore the “in-between” identities and stories of border dwellers both past and present.  We will imbibe the revolutionary and vibrant languages of the Pocha/os, Spanglish slingers, two-spirited voices, code-switchers, Mestiza/s and Chicana/os.

 

This class will be divided into four thematic units: 1) Chicanism@ and Identity; 2) Oral Traditions and Spoken Word Poetry; 3) Bridging Borders and Linking Poems; 4) Writers, Activists and Justicia.  Students will be expected to complete in-class and outside-class writing prompts and assignments, conduct themselves within a writing workshop environment that includes peer reviews, critiques and discussion participation. All writing will be original creative and/or analytical work.  We will view relevant film excerpts, spoken word poetry video/audio and read from required texts. Students are required to submit ongoing assignments, a final writing portfolio and to participate in a local live reading. Additionally, we will have guest speakers throughout the course.

 

 

310.005 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature     TR     12:30 – 1:45     DSH 334     Xu

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with ENGL 315.011, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature.

The topic of this course is Asian American Literature and Culture. This interdisciplinary course will consider formations of Asian American identity, history, community, and politics with an emphasis on Asian Americans as cultural objects, producers, and consumers. By reading a range of historical, legal, theoretical, cultural and literary texts, we will underscore the historical contexts from which Asian American texts have been produced and explore the significance of class, gender, sexuality, and nation to Asian American identities.

 

The course poses the following questions as a starting point: What are the formative experiences and histories that define Asian America? What is the relationshiop of Asian Americans to the U.S. nation-state? Who is included in the category of “Asian American”? Who/What decides? How have conceptions of Asian America shifted over time? And last but not least important, what is the significance of us studying Asian American literature and culture in New Mexico? In approaching these questions, the course will focus broadly on the topics of formations of identity and community, immigration, citizenship, Asian Americans and the law, gender, sexuality, labor, Orientalism and (post)colonialism, Diaspora in Asian American literature and culture.

 

 

310.007 - Casino Marketing & Mgmt     W     5:30 – 8:00     DSH 126     Bubb

This course will examine the marketing and management techniques that commercial and tribal casinos use to make their businesses run more effectively and profitably. The casino industry is a  multi-billion dollar industry annually and gambling has become one of the  world’s most popular forms of entertainment; therefore, the industry is  constantly changing to keep up with customers’ needs, shifts in popular culture,  and changes in technology. Since most casinos often appear in geographical regions with other competing casinos, the knowledge of how to differentiate one casino from the rest is critical. Casinos spend billions of dollars annually to both train their employees and to market their products to consumers. The shift from casinos being gambling  destinations to mega-resorts has impacted how casinos market their programs  because now casinos must promote gambling in conjunction with their affiliated  restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. Students will learn how casinos use and develop sales techniques, promotions and loyalty programs, targeted marketing, and merchandising. Students will also learn how casinos staff and manage all of their different revenue producing venues: casinos, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues.

 

 

310.009 - Writers in the Community     R     5:30 – 8:00     ORTG 123     Contrearas

Arts & Sciences group:  Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 393, Writers in the Community.

This course is designed to place UNM writing students into diverse community settings to work alongside students of all ages, needs, interests and abilities. WTC writing workshops will be offered in scholls, community centers, justice settings, homeless shelters, healthcare facilities, and other venues. The WTC writers-in-residence will facilitate poetry/creative writing workshops and literary projects and work with program coordinators and teachers to accomplish goals established between the UNM students and their sponsors. The student projects will culminate in the publication of an anthology of participants’ work and may include a celebratory community presentation/performance.

 

 

314.001 - Violin Making     TR     8:00 – 11:00     COMMJ 144     White

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This is part of a multi-semester course in Violin Making: Construction, History, Culture and Performance. Through both lectures and field trips, students will learn the history of violin making, some aspects of performance, and be exposed to a variety of cultural and historical materials related to the religious, ritual and folk violin performances and dances practiced in New Mexico since the early 17th century. Enrollment in the course must be approved by the instructor, Dr. Peter White, who can be reached at plwhite@unm.edu.

 

 

320.001 - Becoming What We Eat: Food, Culture, Politics     T     5:30 – 8:00     Martin

Arts & Sciences group: Social Science

Food is one of the most powerful representations of culture, encompassing all of the senses and transmitting literal and symbolic values through its production, preparation, and presentation. Food sustains us, giving meaning, order, and values to our lives; and food reflects the symbolism in our ideological systems. As a vital necessity for sustaining life, the relations of power which shape humans’ means of food production, distribution, and consumption become central to the political, economic, ecological, and social relevance of our times. This survey course will explore history and context of food production; food as a representation of culture – including food traditions and taboos, social structures inherent in the receiving of food, food and sex, food and gender; food as popular culture; government policies and food regulation; fast food; the slow food movement; food justice in a global community; the use of pesticides in food production and the sustainability of organic production methods. We will explore problems representative in the discussion of soil ecology versus food affordability and justice; the local foods movement and its intersection with global shortages; veganism and animal rights versus traditional food ritual and practice; the concept of slow food and its relationship to changing identities and economic realities.

 

 

320.002 - Environmental Justice & Sustainability in Albuquerque     TR     3:30 – 4:45     Markwell

Arts & Sciences group: Social Science

This service-learning course will introduce students to an interdisciplinary range of approaches to current social and environmental problems. The first half of the course is designed to familiarize students with the history of the environmental justice movement and the politics of sustainability. Readings will introduce students to the integral terms and concepts of different methodological approaches to issues of environmental justice and sustainability. Geographically, this section of the course will move from the planetary scale to national, regional, and local scales. The second half of the course is designed to introduce students to local community organizations with whom students will work on a practical project. These projects will include research, writing, and/or service components, and will be determined based on student interests and skills. Readings will include Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City by Andrew Ross, The Orphaned Land: New Mexico’s Environment Since the Manhattan Project by V.B. Price, and Spaces of Environmental Justice by Ryan Holifield et al., and Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction.

 

 

330.001 - Chicana Feminisms     T     7:00 – 9:30     DSH 318     Samora

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CHMS 393, Chicana Feminisms.

This topics course explores the history and development of Chicana Feminisms with special attention to how Chicana feminists voice their concerns and politics on a wide range of issues including race, class, gender, sexuality, and language. We will explore the different waves of feminism and feminist historiography to understand how Chicana feminists differ from European and U.S. Feminist Movements. The class will explore how Chicana Feminism draws from a cultural and historical tradition of strong female figures. At the same time we will explore how Chicana feminists express a women of color politics in the US that has allowed for cross-cultural communication with Third World and Transnational feminist efforts across the globe. Attention is also given to contributions of New Mexican women, many with ties to UNM, to Chicana Feminist efforts across time.

 

 

330.004 - Introduction to Chicana Studies     TR     11:00 – 12:15     DSH 224     Valenzuela

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CHMS 332, Introduction to Chicana Studies.

This general survey course introduces students to knowledge production on and academic approaches relevant to Chicana women’s diverse and changing social statuses from the times of Indigenous sovereignties preceding European interventions in Mexico to the late 20th century. The course traces economic and political transitions highlighting generalized mutations of racial/ethnic, gender, sexuality, social rank/class, and cultural expressions reflecting the conditions and the dominant attitudes of women’s subordination. Course materials will highlight Chicana/Mexican/Indigenous women’s attempts to challenge notions of inferiority and rationalizations for dominance through actions and power contestations and, in turn, contextualize these actions socially, economically and politically.

 

 

340.002 - Hip Hop Music & Culture     W     5:30 – 8:00     Matjaka

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

Decades from its birth in the ravaged communities of the South Bronx, hip hop has become a global language. While hip hop originated in the African American community, people of all ethnic backgrounds are utilizing this medium to educate and express the harsh conditions of their communities (i.e. racism, police repression, poverty, etc.).

 

This course explores the political and aesthetic foundations of hip hop. We will trace the movement’s development from its inception in the form of four elements – break dancing, rap, turntablism, and graffiti art – to its contemporary identity as a global youth phenomenon. We will also examine how this musical medium can be used by those in power to support the status quo and for ‘others’ hip hop can be used to recuperate the past, question the present, and create a better future.

 

 

340.006 - Gender & Age on Film     W     4:00 – 6:30     Gravagne

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

How do we learn to ‘act’ our gender or our age? To what extent do our performances of gender and age intersect to shape the chances and choices of our lives? What happens when we ‘bend’ or transgress expected gender or age roles?  Can this ‘bending’ alter the meanings we attach to these performances? In this course, we will explore how contemporary film not only reflects acceptable gender and age roles, but has the potential to present alternative, often liberating, performances. We will learn to look critically at films such as Tootsie, Innocence, Fatal Attraction, and Harold and Maude as sites of struggle over where to draw the boundaries around acceptable performances of gender and age. And we will discover how film can both expose the ideologies that constrain our ‘doing’ of gender and age and provide us with new models that will better represent the radical multiplicity of our lives.

 

 

350.001 - Blacks in Latin America     MW     11:00 – 12:15     MITCH 214     Howard

Arts & Sciences group:  Humanities

This course is offered with AFST 388, Blacks in Latin America I.

A comprehensive analysis of the plight of Black people in Latin America as compared with their experiences in North America, from the 15th to 19th century. This course examines the resemblance and diversity among blacks in the United States, blacks in Latin America, and blacks in the Hispanophone Caribbean. Through literature, the class will explore what it means to be 'black' in the Americas (that is, a US/American, Caribbean or Latin American person of African descent). We will also examine the growing usage and acceptance of the term Afro Latinos/Afrolatinos as a racial, ethnic and/or national identity. By engaging novels such as Child of the Dark: the Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus (Brazil), Las Criadas de La Habana (Cuba), and Geographies of Home (United States), students will unearth varied histories and religions; cultural and racial identities; socio-political and power relations; and lived realities and ideologies that comprise the black experience(s) in the America. All novels are taught in English, with novels from Latin America comprising 50% of the course texts.

 

 

350.002 - Leadership & Mentoring in Urban Communities     TR     3:30 – 4:45     SARAR 107     Bubb

*There will be a strong service-learning component to this class.

Arts & Sciences group:  Social Science

This course examines the ethnic, cultural, and class problems facing children and teenagers within the urban communities of Albuquerque. The course provides students with opportunities to work interactively with community-based organizations that focus on creating educational and recreational programming and providing social services for children and teenagers of different social classes, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds. Students have opportunities to gain professional experience within different community sites as they observe, interact, and participate with community members. Each community site that the class interacts with provides students with different insights as to how professional organizations operate, how structural development and management occurs, how educational, recreational, and social programming decision making processes are conceived and implemented, and how students can implement theoretical information into practical settings while collaboratively working with others to create activities, events, and programs. The course prepares students to interact with children and teenagers who face a varying array of social and economic problems in their everyday lives. Students gain practical experience that will help them to work in social and educational settings by addressing issues such as student developmental theory, supplemental instruction, group dynamics, learning styles, success skills, and the ability to effectively communicate, interact, and problem solve when working with individuals struggling with various social and economic problems.

 

 

350.003 - Chicano Latino Civil Rights     T     5:30 – 8:00     MITCH 104     Staff     *2nd Eight Weeks

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 360, Chicano Latino Civil Rights.

The seminar examines Chicano Civil Rights by exploring forms of collective social action on behalf of immigration rights/reform, education rights/reform, labor rights, treaty rights, legal justice, environmental justice, veteran's rights, and political representation.

 

 

350.004 - Race & the Law     TR     12:30 – 1:45     MITCH 220     Gipson-Rankin

Arts & Sciences group: Social Science

This course is offered with AFST 397, Race and the Law.

Are we a post-racial society? Is English-only the way to go? Is there a model minority? Are Native American children better off with Native American parents? Should affirmative action be abolished? Did Brown help? This seminar will explore the historical and contemporary treatment of race in the United States by both the courts and the legislature. We will examine the connection between law and the construction of race as a concept and position of identity. To this end, students will examine the legal ordering of individuals as members of racial groups and their treatment under the law across various timeframes, specifically studying Black Americans, American Indians, Asian Pacific Americans, and Chicana/os. Through an integrated analysis of the groups legal histories, the class will foster a comprehensive understanding of race and racism as foundational elements of U.S. law. The seminar will also employ an interdisciplinary approach to examining the social and political for ces that have and continue to contribute to the development of legal doctrine in the areas of education, employment, health care, criminal justice, interracial sex and marriage, and contract law, among other things. Those electing to take this class should understand that this class continually examines how power has been distributed by the law and how power has been used to privilege some and marginalize and/or oppress others. We will look primarily to the text book for our understanding, but you also will be exposed to various source materials in an effort to assist you in producing a worthwhile scholarly paper. Plan to explore this topic of race and the law outside of the classroom as we visit local courthouses, talk with judges, and visit correctional facilities for a first hand view of the implementation of the law. The seminar will examine race from a multiracial, multiethnic perspective. Participation from a diverse group of students is encouraged.

 

 

350.005 - Race, Class, Feminism     TR     12:30 – 1:45     HUM 428     Mays

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with WMST 325.001, Race, Class, and Feminism.

In this course we will use American literary texts as cultural artifacts, exploring how differences of region, culture, and class deeply influence factors of identity (such as race and gender, or sexual orientation) that we think of as existing prior to social influences. How do literary characterizations offer us ways of investigating the complexities of American relationships to subjectivity? What do these stories suggest about the distinctions we make between nature and culture, and their influences on identity? We will begin with 19th-Century writing about the enslavement of African-Americans. The anxious reliance on clear categories of race, class, and gender that characterizes this period is complicated by the emergence of alternative perspectives in the 20th Century. Feminist, critical race theory, and post-colonial approaches will enable us to begin developing frameworks for understanding the historical and contemporary contradictions inherent to membership in our national community.

 

 

350.006 - Sociology of Mexican Americans     M     2:00 – 4:30     SSCO 1111     Gonzales

Arts & Sciences group: Social Science

This course is offered with SOC 428, Sociology of Mexican Americans.

The historical, comparative and contemporary study of the Mexican American in the U.S. Race and ethnic relations theories and the Chicano Movement.

 

 

356.001 - Indigenous Feminisms     M     4:00 – 6:30     MITCH 221     Denetdale

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course introduces students to the study Native nations, gender, and feminisms. We will take three case studies, explore how Native women have been represented in discursive practices and reframe through the lens of critical Indigenous feminisms and queer Indigenous Studies. Through these case studies, students will become familiar with the development of Indigenous feminisms and queer studies and put them into conversation with the interdisciplinary frameworks of American Studies. Our examination takes us beyond the U.S. border to make comparisons with the experiences of Indigenous women and queer people who live in other settler nations in order to map trajectories of histories, the impacts of colonialisms, and the calls for decolonization.

 

 

357.001 - The African World     TR     11:00 – 12:15     DSH 318     Shunkuri

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with AFST 385, The African World.

An interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Africa; its political and economic geographies; its traditional and new societies; and its politics in global perspectives.

 

 

357.003 - Race and Speculation     T     4:00 – 6:30     MITCH 121     Smalls

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course will be a survey of the intersection of the categories of race, specifically, blackness, and speculation, or racial categories as speculation. Using Afrofuturism, psychoanalysis, science fiction, literature, popular culture, film and music, we will explore what we mean when we talk about race and speculation. How is the category of race itself a speculation? What do we speculate based on what and who we see, how we hear? How do artists, writers, musicians, inventories speculate about race? We will, of course, put pressure on these categories, to investigate the ways we have been taught to think about race and speculative fiction as fixed categories, rather than as dialogical positions that move with and over time. We will use theories of Afrofuturism, speculative fiction, and psychoanalysis as organizing tools from which we may diverge, but nevertheless, give us some theoretical grounding.

 

Most of our readings, viewings, listenings and other sensory interactions will focus on human/hybrid/animal bodies, embodiment and disembodiment, as well as other body-related issues: sexual desire, illness, cleanliness, texture, taste, and smell. We will also investigate why race is still understood in terms of the polarity of black and white; ways to think about gender beyond a binary system; and the ways that speculation, rumor, and stereotypes shape our perception of our lives and world.

 

 

360.001 - NM Villages & Culture     W     4:00 – 6:30     SARAR 101     Romero

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 393.004, NM Villages & Culture.

Before the age of strip malls, big-box supercenters, store-bought produce, and cyberspace social networks, New Mexicans gathered in plazas, grew their own vegetable gardens, and engaged in platicas to share stories and exchange knowledge and information. Our class will examine various cultural settings and traditions such as plazas, resolanas, acequia culture, and read from a collection of narratives that celebrate community and explore New Mexico's cultural heritage from its not-so-easily-forgotten past through the present day. Literature, film, video, and other sources of documentation will inform our analysis. We will have guest presenters as well as attend local readings and events. Students will be required to write brief response papers to the course readings and subject matter. Other course requirements will be addressed in the syllabus.

 

 

360.003 - Race, Culture, Gender, History in NM     MW     12:00 – 1:15     MITCH 221     Samora

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course is offered with CCS 342, Race, Culture, Genders.

Hispano and Native perspectives of NM history begin with colonialism, military history, politics, economics, but must also consider culture, gender, and class to understand the resilience of people as actors in their own history.

 

 

360.004 - Religion in the American West     TR     12:30 – 1:45     ORTG 115     Holscher

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course takes as its focus the religious people and practices that have populated the western extremities of the present-day United States from the eighteenth century through today. Our approach to the study will be framed by two imagined concepts that both historians and Americans generally often draw upon to understand this particular geography – that of “the West” and that of “the frontier.” In the course, we will spend time learning about the various peoples – Latinos, Native Americans and Anglos among them – that emerged as players in the Western experience. We will examine how each group developed religious ideas and practices in relation to the distinct landscape (both geographic and ideological) on which it found itself. The course will highlight the range of religious encounters between these cultures, both along the shifting political borders between the U.S. and Mexico, and between the U.S. and various Native American tribes, and we'll consider how religion and region play into how race is imagined and negotiated by the parties involves. We will also consider religious communities like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) – for whom the imagined Western frontier, and members’ actual, lived experiences thereon, played central roles in the formation of collective religious identity. In addition, we will consider non-denominational American interpretations of the West as intimately tied to the religious destiny of the entire nation. Finally, the course will orient itself around a set of questions, about the dynamic processes that constitute religious life on borders and frontiers, about the consequences of settling upon a religiously mapped landscape, and about the challenges historians face in telling the story of a territory that is contested, especially when religion lies at the center of those contests.

 

 

360.005 - Casino Gaming in the Southwest     T     5:30 – 8:00     DSH 128     Bubb

Arts & Sciences group: Humanities

This course examines the cultural, economic, and political impacts that casino gaming is having throughout the Southwest. The course will focus on the commercial and tribal gaming industries in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. The gaming industry as a whole is continuing to grow throughout the country and is continuously changing; therefore, casino gaming is at the heart of a number of cultural, economic, political, and religious debates throughout the country. By examining the different historical and contemporary gaming situations throughout the Southwest, we will better be able to examine how this changing industry is reshaping and changing local communities, tribal communities, states, the Southwest, and the U.S. as a whole. Students will have the opportunity to travel to commercial and tribal gaming-related venues throughout New Mexico to gain cultural insight and first-hand experience examining and researching the casino gaming industry.

 

 

485.001 - Senior Seminar in US Culture     M     2:00 – 4:30     MITCH 214     Schreiber

Arts & Sciences Group: Humanities

This is the capstone course for the American Studies major. It is meant to give students an opportunity to synthesize what they have learned in American Studies and related classes.  It is also a chance for students to do their own, original work on a topic. We will work together to develop and strengthen skills in research, analysis, and writing, but the major part of the seminar is the work students will do to produce a 20 page original senior thesis.

 

During the semester we will meet during our regular class hours each week to work in small groups helping each other with questions and problems in the writing process.  Students will be asked to bring drafts of their written work to each of these meetings. At the end of the semester students will complete their thesis project and give a presentation on their work as part of an American Studies thesis symposium at the SUB.

 

 

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