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Upcoming Courses

Fall 2017 Course Descriptions

AMST 298: Intro to Digital Humanities (Tilton)
MW 1:30 - 2:45 PM 
How can computers help us ask and answer questions in American Studies? Find out in Introduction to Digital Humanities (DH)!  We will explore the role of data in the humanities and tools to apply text mining, mapping, and network analysis.  No programming experience expected.

AMST 381: Documenting a Historic Black High  School: A Richmond Community Project (Browder & Herrera)
T 3:00 - 5:40 PM
This fall, Armstrong High School—one of the oldest black high schools in the nation—is scheduled for demolition. In collaboration with Armstrong alumni, current Armstrong students (who attend school in a newer building), and the Valentine museum, our class will conduct interviews, do archival research as well as create and perform a documentary drama about the history of Armstrong High School and role of this school in the city’s history.  The goal of this collaboration is to assist the Valentine Museum in creating the Armstrong Archive-—which will eventually lead to an exhibition at the Valentine 2018-2019.

AMST 391: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (French)
TR 3:00 - 4:15 PM
The class will consider issues of indigeneity and what that word means in the New World.  It will address the questions: What constitutes indigenous identity and why is that identity important? Is “authenticity” important?  What issues are raised by Indian gaming?  What issues are raised by the Dakota access pipeline and resistance to it? What is the role of indigenous people in governments and in relations with governments in societies where indigenous people are a minority and where they are a majority?  We will also consider the upsurge of indigenous ethnic identification throughout the hemisphere, the impact of modernization on the lives of native peoples, and the current interest in seeing the world through alternative visions.

AMST 398: Performing the News (Cox)
TR 10:30 - 11:45 AM
It’s hard to miss theatrical influences in today’s news. From Stephen Colbert to Rush Limbaugh, some of our most popular purveyors of the news are also entertainers. But their work is not entirely new: in fact, performers and the press have long been in cahoots. This course integrates communication studies, American studies, and performance studies to explore the relationship between news and theatre in American public culture. Students will apply theories of performance to a range of case studies in American journalism, from the “Stunt Women” of the early 20th C., to President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats, to The Daily Show.

AMST 381: (SSIR) The System (Hughes)
MW 10:30 - 11:45 AM
The System. Nobody wants to get stuck in it. Lots of people blame it. Some say it’s rigged. Some try to beat it. But most of the time it’s unnoticed, quietly running in the background, shaping our society and our experience. Using tools from a wide range of fields—sociology, cultural studies, American studies, economics, philosophy, and future studies—students will demystify and analyze complex social systems, explore their agency in relation to The System, interrogate their responsibility for its effects (with emphasis on social inequities), and, borrowing from science fiction, utilize these skills in predicting The System’s future.

AMST 391: (SSIR) The Great War, Modernity and Memory (Yellin)
WF 9:00 - 10:15 AM
“The Great War” brought on a new consciousness in Europe and the United States. From the worst disease epidemic in world history to the closing of American borders to the total reshuffling of international powers to a foundational moment of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, World War I fundamentally altered the way Americans understood themselves and their place in the world. How did these events and experiences affect American politics and culture? How did artists and intellectuals reflect upon and express this new, modern outlook? How did they seek to memorialize the war, and how do we remember it today?"