L384 1979 SPERBER
Studies in American Culture

4:00p-5:15p MW (30) 3 cr.


This course focuses on literary, journalistic, scholarly, and visual treatments of undergraduate college life in America. We will read a number of textbooks, including Helen Lefkovitz- Horowitz's College Life, as well as articles by a variety of authors in a TIS Packet designed for this course. In addition, we will view a number of films, including Animal House, Breaking Away, Everybody's All- American, School Daze, and Where the Boys Are (1960 version), and we will examine some television programs on the topic.

Because college sports are an important part of college life, we will spend a number of periods and parts of periods on this topic. We will read various articles on college sports and also view such films as Blue Chips, The Program, and Rudy, and examine such television programs as Coach, and ESPN's SportsCenter.

Our on-going concerns will be: What is the nature of undergraduate student life, and how has it evolved and changed during the twentieth century? What are the past and present connections between undergraduate student life and intercollegiate athletics? How have undergraduate students and college athletes been portrayed in literary and visual works, and what are some of the cultural, economic, and social reasons for these portrayals? We will also pay special attention to the history of undergraduate student life and college sports at Indiana University.

Student responsibility in the course includes a class presentation, a number of short papers and quizzes, a mid-term exam, and a final major project OR a take-home final exam. The major project can be a critical paper on an aspect of the course OR a creative project, e.g., a short story or part of a film script on a subject connected to the course.