American Studies
American Studies

AMS F325 • Art, Theft, And Hip-Hop

80007 • Makalani, Minkah
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM GEA 114
(also listed as AFR F374D, C L F323)
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The core artistic practice in Hip-Hop is the break beat, more commonly known as the sample. In the early days of the musical genre, the sample was a source of contention, as artists and record companies sued hip-hop artist for copyright infringement for the use of samples. This course approaches hip-hop as a cultural arts movement that thrived on and produced its art through modes of theft. From the break beat/sample, graffiti, the ability of sound systems to sonically invade private space, and thus allow the very words of the rapper to robbed non-hip-hop heads of their ability to not listen, theft has been a long standing artistic practice of hip-hop.

This course will explore the central artistic forms of hip-hop — the break beat, graffiti, b-boying, and its sonic levels — as practices of theft that outlined a new, radical black art form. Students in this course will analyze songs, films, and music videos as their primary texts in this course. Students will be graded on class discussions, three quizzes, two short (4-page) paper, and a final project on one of the core art forms that constitute hip-hop.


Sample Texts:

  • Jeff Chang, "Can't Stop, Won't Stop." (book)
  • Course packet of readings



Class discussion: 20%

Three quizzes: 30%

Two short paper: 20%

Final Project: 30%

AMS F370 • US Lesbian/Gay His, 20th-C

80020 • Richardson, Matt
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM BUR 228
(also listed as HIS F365G, WGS F335)
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What can we learn from U.S. history about gender and sexuality? This course will use lectures, readings, films, class discussion, and written assignments to explore this question as we trace the social, cultural, and political history of same-sex desire in the U.S., primarily in the 20th century. Major topics include the growth of lesbian and gay communities or sub-cultures and the persistence of racial, class and gender differences within and among them. The course will familiarize students with some of the classic texts in the field as well as recent and varied writings on the history of sexuality, focusing on the experiences, ideas, and conflicts that have shaped modern lesbian, gay and transgender identities.



  • To introduce you to historical approaches to studying lesbian and gay history in the U.S.
  • To encourage you to think critically about the central role of sexuality in shaping 20th-century American culture
  • To help you identify, analyze, and respond to major topics in lesbian and gay life in a culturally sensitive and historically informed manner.
  • To give you opportunities to examine how gender, race, and class create intersectional identities for LGBT people.

AMS S310 • Intro To American Studies

80075 • Roehl, Emily
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM BUR 108
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