Communication and Culture | Perspectives in American Studies
C626 | 1101 | Joan Hawkins


This class is open to all CMCL grads, whether or not they are pursuing
minors or double majors in American Studies.

A quick glance through the American Studies Association Conference
program makes it clear that American Studies is nothing if not
interdisciplinary. The printed program advertises readings by Arte
Pblico authors and Mariachi music, as well as talks by scholars in
such diverse departments and programs as African American Studies,
American Studies, Art History, English, Film Studies, Folklore, Gender
Studies, History, The History of Science, Media Studies, Political
Science, Religious Studies, Social Medicine, Sociology, The History of
Consciousness, and The Humanities Research Institute.  Given such a
wide range of  disciplines and departments, American Studies
methodologies are, by necessity, eclectic and diverse, deriving from
both the requirements of the disciplines they represent (history,
English etc) and the theoretical perspectives within those disciplines
that they embrace.

One of the core courses in the American Studies graduate curriculum,
G604 introduces students to some of the varying methodologies and
perspectives used in the field.  The special topic of the course this
year stresses the courses links to the American Studies Lecture
Series, as well as to the political engagement that draws many of us
into this field. Readings will include Lynn Spigels WELCOME TO THE
DOLLHOUSE, John Carlos Rowes THE NEW AMERICAN STUDIES, and EXCERPTS
from Michael Hardt  and Antonio Negris EMPIRE, as well as essays
dealing with race, gender, class, sexuality, cyberspace, the criminal
justice system, and performance. In addition, a number of scholars
will present their research to the students.  Lynn Spigel and Troy
Duster will be coming to IU as part of the American Studies colloquium
series and have agreed to hold discussions with the class. Linda
Williams and Gloria Steinem will be on campus as part of a special
program honoring the Kinsey Institute. And a number of IU American
Studies faculty will be invited to do informal presentations for the
class and participate in round table discussions.

Written work will consist of a series of very short (2-page) response
papers to individual readings and speakers, and a 10-page conference
paper suitable for presentation at the American Studies Conference.