Introduction to American Studies: Race and Class
|Years of Operation||1998-1999|
|Sites Offered||CAR, CLN|
From the CTY Course Catalog (1999):
In the field of American Studies, scholars build on the traditional study of social and cultural history by branching out to other disciplines to consider American culture as a whole. Students in this course begin their inquiry around 1896. They use literature and film as the tools to analyze events, critique interpretations, and discuss significant historical questions connected to the themes of race and class.
Students examine how events shape American culture and how artists affect society. They consider whether Ellison's Invisible Man reflected a burgeoning African-American consciousness and if, in fact, the civil rights movement had roots in his representation of race. Or, they consider how a movie like On the Waterfront reflects changing attitudes about organized labor and the working classes in light of the Red Scare. Throughout the course, students evaluate the use of cultural artifacts as tools for recreating and understanding American history. Through essays, daily journals, and independent projects, students analyze these sources as social and cultural historians.