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Janet M. Davis


Core FacultyPh.D., History, University of Wisconsin (Madison)

Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Janet M. Davis

Contact

Interests


U.S. cultural and social history; popular culture; social thought; animal studies; women’s and gender history; U.S. social movements; modern South Asia

Biography


Professor Davis was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1964, three days after a devastating Alaskan earthquake triggered tsunami warnings across the Hawaiian Islands and beyond. She spent the majority of her childhood and young adulthood in the Upper Midwest—with intermediate stops on study abroad programs in Germany and India. From 1986-1989, Professor Davis worked as a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines.  She finished her Ph.D. in U.S. History in 1998 and landed at the University of Texas that fall.

Research Interests

U.S. cultural and social history; popular culture; social thought; animal studies; women’s and gender history; U.S. social movements; modern South Asia

Publications

Professor Davis is currently writing a book, “The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America” (under contract with Oxford University Press). “The Gospel of Kindness” analyzes the relationship between the growth and development of the U.S. animal welfare movement and ideologies of American benevolence and exceptionalism from the Second Great Awakening to the eve of World War II.  The project pays special attention to the religious dimensions of the movement, as well as its relationship to American expansionism. Professor Davis is also the author of The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), the winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award; the Robert W. Hamilton Book Award; and a finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award from the Theatre Library Association.  Professor Davis is also the editor of Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Life of Tiny Kline (University of Illinois Press, 2008), by Tiny Kline. Professor Davis works regularly as a consultant for museum exhibitions and documentary films. She has received fellowships from FLAS VI in Hindi, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association of University Women, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Courses taught

Professor Davis teaches Introduction to American Studies, both halves of Main Currents in American Culture, and specialized seminars in U.S. social and cultural history; popular culture; animal studies; women’s and gender history; cultural approaches to U.S. foreign relations; and U.S. social movements. Professor Davis has won the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award (2004), as well as the Eyes of Texas Excellence Award (2000).

Courses


AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30540 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM WAG 101
(also listed as HIS 315G)

Description
AMS 310 is an introductory course in American Studies—the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. We will begin our journey by considering some of the critical transformations—both physical and ideological—that World War II brought to American society and culture.  Filled with televisions, cars, suburbs, malls and chain stores, the landscape that we know so well today came of age during this period.  Throughout the course, we will analyze how communities, broadly defined by differing variables like age, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, class and/or political persuasion, have wrestled with questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion in modern America. While the course will proceed chronologically, I have organized these topics around three separate themes: consumerism, youth culture, and multiculturalism.

Requirements

First exam (in-class): 20%

Second exam (in-class): 30%

Final exam (cumulative, 3 hours long): 50 %.

In addition to the graded assignments, regular attendance is expected.

 

Possible Texts

Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory

Mary Brave Bird, Lakota Woman

Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi

AMS 390 • Watershed Decade: The 1970s

30755 • Fall 2016
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as HIS 389)

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

29880 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 136
(also listed as HIS 356K)

This interdisciplinary survey explores various cultural and social transformations in  American society from the post-Civil War era to the present.  Broadly construed, this course will examine the relationship between culture, technology, industrialization, urbanization, and American identity (using race, gender and class as ways to analyze America’s multicultural society)  over the last century and a half.  After a brief,  introductory exploration of the enormous social,  cultural and economic changes wrought by the Civil War—the bloodiest conflagration in American history—we  will study  the cultural landscape of a rapidly industrializing society in which roaring locomotives created a new sense of time and national identity .  Our journey will take us from the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad to the moon landing and internet.  Along the way, we will also consider the rise of the consumer society, the birth of mass culture, immigration, overseas expansion, modernism, feminism, regionalism, the new leisure culture, and the enduring mythology of the self-made man/woman.  Our examination of American culture is interdisciplinary and broadly defined to include fine arts, sports, music, literature, popular culture, architecture, anthropology, social thought, the built environment and  material culture. Ultimately, our goal is to investigate and evaluate how multiple  Americans—from presidents to the dispossessed—have made sense of explosive social transformations through cultural forms.

 

 

Class format:  This is primarily a lecture course, but I will always leave some time available during each class for discussion.

Requirements:   Regular attendance, completion of all reading assignments, three in-class ID (short answer) exams, and two take-home essay exams, one of which will be cumulative. 

                      

Possible Reading List (Please Note: This will likely change):

 

Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick

Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery

Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

Studs Terkel, Hard Times (selected portions)

Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken

Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic

AMS 386 • Cultural Hist Of Us Since 1865

29940 • Spring 2016
Meets W 10:00AM-1:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as HIS 392)

Note: Graduate standing required. Students also required to attend undergraduate lectures, AMS 356

T C 302 • American Animals: A Cul Hist

41950 • Fall 2015
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM CRD 007B

Course Number: TC 302

Title: American Animals: A Cultural History

Instructor: Janet Davis 

 

Description:

This course explores the central—if hitherto unrecognized—role that animals have played in shaping American history. This course is interdisciplinary, which means that we will use multiple methodological lenses throughout the semester. Topics of discussion include Native American animal cosmologies; wandering animals and concepts of property; animals in entertainment; hunting; vegetarianism; changing cultural attitudes about nature; animals and evolutionary theory; the rise of the animal welfare and animal rights movements; laboring animals and the nation’s move to a motorized economy; animals and war; the growth of pet keeping as a cultural practice and billion-dollar business today; factory farms; the rise of veterinary science; zoos; and more. We will explore Waller Creek, the Turtle Pond, and the Harry Ransom Center, among other rich campus environments and world-class library facilities at UT-Austin to enhance our examination of animals and the cultural life and history of the United States.

 

Texts/Readings:

Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

Virginia DeJohn Anderson, “King Philip’s Herds: Indians, Colonists, and the Problem of Livestock in Early New                England,” The William and Mary Quarterly, v. 51, n. 4 (October 1994): 601-624; pdf document

Thomas Nickerson, Owen Chase, and Others, edited by Nathaniel and Thomas Philbrick, The Loss of the Ship Essex,                 Sunk by a Whale: First Person Accounts

Jennifer Price, Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America

Robert Sullivan, Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants

Andrew Lawler, Why did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization

Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

 

Assignments:

Mandatory class attendance, attendance of University Lecture Series, completion of all reading and writing assignments, and in-class presentations. Each student will write 5 sets of study questions that address the reading and classroom material—students will be expected to integrate material from the University Lecture Series into select study questions assignments; On 2 separate class dates during the semester, students will give a 10-minute historical presentation on any American animal of h/her choosing. (Students must choose a different animal for each presentation.) Students will write a 5-page analytic essay on a topic of one’s choosing related to the history of American animals. Students will receive completion credit for the first draft of this essay, and then will receive a letter grade for the revised version. Lastly, students will write a 7-10 page take-home essay examination that will analyze the readings and select lecture/field trip/University Lecture material into a synthetic interpretation of animals and American history.

Grade Breakdown:

Discussion: 20%

Study Questions (5 total): 10%

Class Presentations: 15%

Animal Issue Paper (Draft Version—Credit Grade): 10%

Animal Issue Paper (Revised Version—Letter Grade): 15%

Final Take-Home Essay: 30%

 

About the Professor:

Janet Davis is finishing a social and cultural history of the American animal welfare movement from 1866-1930, paying special attention to ideologies of American exceptionalism, cultural pluralism, and Protestant reform in shaping the movement in the United States and abroad. She has taught courses on multiple subjects at UT, including American studies, history, and popular culture.

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30825 • Fall 2014
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM WEL 1.308
(also listed as HIS 315G)

AMS 310 is an introductory course in American Studies—the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. We will begin our journey by considering some of the critical transformations—both physical and ideological—that World War II brought to American society and culture.  Filled with televisions, cars, suburbs, malls and chain stores, the landscape that we know so well today came of age during this period.  Throughout the course, we will analyze how communities, broadly defined by differing variables like age, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, class and/or political persuasion, have wrestled with questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion in modern America. While the course will proceed chronologically, I have organized these topics around three separate themes: consumerism, youth culture, and multiculturalism.                 

                 

Requirements

First exam (in-class): 20%

Second exam (in-class): 30%

Final exam (cumulative, 3 hours long): 50 %.

In addition to the graded assignments, regular attendance is expected.

 

Possible Texts

Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory

Mary Brave Bird, Lakota Woman

Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi

 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History. 

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

 

AMS 390 • Watershed Decade: The 1970s

31225 • Spring 2014
Meets M 10:00AM-1:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as HIS 389)

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

T C 302 • American Animals: A Cul Hist

43710 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CRD 007B

Description:

This course explores the central—if hitherto unrecognized—role that animals have played in shaping American history. This course is interdisciplinary, which means that we will use multiple methodological lenses throughout the semester. Topics of discussion include Native American animal cosmologies; wandering animals and concepts of property; animals in entertainment; hunting; vegetarianism; changing cultural attitudes about nature; animals and evolutionary theory; the rise of the animal welfare and animal rights movements; laboring animals and the nation’s move to a motorized economy; animals and war; the growth of pet keeping as a cultural practice and billion-dollar business today; factory farms; the rise of veterinary science; zoos; and more. We will explore Waller Creek, the Turtle Pond, and the Harry Ransom Center, among other rich campus environments and world-class library facilities at UT-Austin to enhance our examination of animals and the cultural life and history of the United States.

 

Texts/Readings:

Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

Virginia DeJohn Anderson, “King Philip’s Herds: Indians, Colonists, and the Problem of Livestock in Early New                England,” The William and Mary Quarterly, v. 51, n. 4 (October 1994): 601-624; pdf document

Thomas Nickerson, Owen Chase, and Others, edited by Nathaniel and Thomas Philbrick, The Loss of the Ship Essex,                 Sunk by a Whale: First Person Accounts

Jennifer Price, Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America

Robert Sullivan, Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants

Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness

Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

 

Assignments:

Mandatory class attendance, attendance of University Lecture Series, completion of all reading and writing assignments, and in-class presentations. Each student will write 5 sets of study questions that address the reading and classroom material—students will be expected to integrate material from the University Lecture Series into select study questions assignments; On 2 separate class dates during the semester, students will give a 10-minute historical presentation on any American animal of h/her choosing. (Students must choose a different animal for each presentation.) Students will write a 5-page analytic essay on a topic of one’s choosing related to the history of American animals. Students will receive completion credit for the first draft of this essay, and then will receive a letter grade for the revised version. Lastly, students will write a 7-10 page take-home essay examination that will analyze the readings and select lecture/field trip/University Lecture material into a synthetic interpretation of animals and American history.

Grade Breakdown:

Discussion: 20%

Study Questions (5 total): 10%

Class Presentations: 15%

Animal Issue Paper (Draft Version—Credit Grade): 10%

Animal Issue Paper (Revised Version—Letter Grade): 15%

Final Take-Home Essay: 30%

 

About the Professor:

Janet Davis is finishing a social and cultural history of the American animal welfare movement from 1866-1930, paying special attention to ideologies of American exceptionalism, cultural pluralism, and Protestant reform in shaping the movement in the United States and abroad. She has taught courses on multiple subjects at UT, including American studies, history, and popular culture.

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30705 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM BEL 328
(also listed as HIS 315G)

AMS 310 is an introductory course in American Studies—the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. We will begin our journey by considering some of the critical transformations—both physical and ideological—that World War II brought to American society and culture.  Filled with televisions, cars, suburbs, malls and chain stores, the landscape that we know so well today came of age during this period.  Throughout the course, we will analyze how communities, broadly defined by differing variables like age, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, class and/or political persuasion, have wrestled with questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion in modern America. While the course will proceed chronologically, I have organized these topics around three separate themes: consumerism, youth culture, and multiculturalism.                 

                 

Requirements

First exam (in-class): 20%

Second exam (in-class): 30%

Final exam (cumulative, 3 hours long): 50 %.

In addition to the graded assignments, regular attendance is expected.

 

Possible Texts

Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory

Mary Brave Bird, Lakota Woman

Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi

 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 386 • Cultural Hist Of Us Since 1865

30825 • Spring 2013
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM BUR 436B

Note: Graduate standing required. Students also required to attend undergraduate lectures, AMS 356

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

39625 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 136

Description: This is a lecture course on postwar American culture and society with special emphasis on the 1950s and 1960s. Issues to be discussed include the domestic impact of the Cold War, the effects of McCarthyism on politics and the entertainment world, the problems of affluence in the 1950s, the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, the cultural relationships between the United States and the rest of the world, as well as conflicts between blacks and whites, the middle class and blue-collar workers, men and women, parents and children. The lectures will deal primarily with cultural and intellectual history, while the reading draws heavily on novels, journalism and social criticism.  Therefore, no one should enroll in this course who has not already taken at least one, preferably upper-division, course in 20th century American history.  Nor should anyone take the course if they are unfamiliar with trends in modern American literature, art, music, and movies.  In addition, since students will be asked to write two 10-15 page papers (there are no exams) based on the reading, you should not register for the course if you are unaccustomed to writing in-depth analytical essays, especially about novels.

Texts: Partial List, All Required:   

  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • John Updike, Rabbit Run
  • Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  • Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night
  • Richard Pells, Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture Since World War II

Grading:

Two 10-15 page papers, each counting 50% of the course grade.  Each paper will analyze two books on the reading list, one of which must be a novel.  The first paper will deal with the culture of the 1940s and 1950s; the second, with American culture from the 1960s to the present.


WGS 340 • Amer Popular Cul, 1682-Pres

47114 • Fall 2012
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM GEA 114
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)

Description

In 1682, the first American bestseller was published. Audiences in the American colonies and in England devoured Mary Rowlandson’s breathless account of her harrowing experiences as a captive of the Narragansett and Nipmunk Indians during King Philip’s War in The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.  Taking a long, historical view, this course explores the evolution of American popular culture and its relationship to national consolidation (and at times, disunion) over the last 330 years. Starting with oral, religious, print, and live performance traditions during the colonial, early national, and antebellum periods, this course will consider the cultural impact of new technologies such as steam power, the railroad, photography, recorded sound, celluloid, the electronic transmission of moving images (i.e. television), and the internet.  Throughout the semester, we will stress the centrality of race, gender, and class in shaping the production and content of popular culture, modes of popular representation, the composition of popular audiences, and types of reception.

 

Requirements

Creative Think Piece:                                     10%

5 Short Papers (1-2 pages each):                   20%

First Draft of Final Paper (10-15 pgs):             5%

In-Class Presentation of Final Project:             10%

Final Paper (10-15 pages):                             35%

Discussion:                                                    20%

 

Possible Texts

Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, ed., Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives 

P.T. Barnum, The Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself

Ken Emerson, Doo-dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture

W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

Paula Marantz Cohen, Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth

Tiny Kline, Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Life of Tiny Kline

Susan Douglas, Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination

Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday

Aniko Bodroghkozy, Groove Tube: Sixties Television and the Youth Rebellion

 

Upper-division standing required. Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.  Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30730 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GEA 105
(also listed as HIS 315G)

Description

AMS 310 is an introductory course in American Studies—the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. We will begin our journey by considering some of the critical transformations—both physical and ideological—that World War II brought to American society and culture.  Filled with televisions, cars, suburbs, malls and chain stores, the landscape that we know so well today came of age during this period.  Throughout the course, we will analyze how communities, broadly defined by differing variables like age, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, class and/or political persuasion, have wrestled with questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion in modern America. While the course will proceed chronologically, I have organized these topics around three separate themes: consumerism, youth culture, and multiculturalism.                 

 

Requirements

First exam (in-class): 20%

Second exam (in-class): 30%

Final take-home exam: 50 %.

In addition to the graded assignments, regular attendance is expected.

 

Possible Texts

Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory

Mary Brave Bird, Lakota Woman

Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi

 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

T C 302 • American Animals: A Cul Hist

42905 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CRD 007A

Description:

This course explores the central—if hitherto unrecognized—role that animals have played in shaping American history. This course is interdisciplinary, which means that we will use multiple methodological lenses throughout the semester. Topics of discussion include Native American animal cosmologies; wandering animals and concepts of property; animals in entertainment; hunting; vegetarianism; changing cultural attitudes about nature; animals and evolutionary theory; the rise of the animal welfare and animal rights movements; laboring animals and the nation’s move to a motorized economy; animals and war; the growth of pet keeping as a cultural practice and billion-dollar business today; factory farms; the rise of veterinary science; zoos; and more. We will explore Waller Creek, the Turtle Pond, and the Harry Ransom Center, among other rich campus environments and world-class library facilities at UT-Austin to enhance our examination of animals and the cultural life and history of the United States.

 

Requirements: 

Mandatory class attendance, attendance of University Lecture Series, completion of all reading and writing assignments, and in-class presentations. Each student will write 5 sets of study questions that address the reading and classroom material—students will be expected to integrate material from the University Lecture Series into select study questions assignments; On 2 separate class dates during the semester, students will give a 10-minute historical presentation on any American animal of h/her choosing. (Students must choose a different animal for each presentation.) Students will write a 5-page analytic essay on a topic of one’s choosing related to the history of American animals. Students will receive completion credit for the first draft of this essay, and then will receive a letter grade for the revised version. Lastly, students will write a 7-10 page take-home essay examination that will analyze the readings and select lecture/field trip/University Lecture material into a synthetic interpretation of animals and American history.

Grade Breakdown:

Discussion: 20%

Study Questions (5 total): 10%

Class Presentations: 15%

Animal Issue Paper (Draft Version—Credit Grade): 10%

Animal Issue Paper (Revised Version—Letter Grade): 15%

Final Take-Home Essay: 30%

 

Reading Assignments:

Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

Virginia DeJohn Anderson, “King Philip’s Herds: Indians, Colonists, and the Problem of Livestock in Early New England,” The William and Mary Quarterly, v. 51, n. 4 (October 1994): 601-624; pdf document

Thomas Nickerson, Owen Chase, and Others, edited by Nathaniel and Thomas Philbrick, The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale: First Person Accounts

Jennifer Price, Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America

Robert Sullivan, Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants

Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness

Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

 

About the Professor:

Janet Davis is currently finishing a social and cultural history of the American animal welfare movement from 1866-1930, paying special attention to ideologies of American exceptionalism, cultural pluralism, and Protestant reform in shaping the movement in the United States and abroad. She has taught courses on multiple subjects at UT, including American studies, history, popular culture, animal studies, both halves of the cultural history survey, twentieth-century social movements, and women’s and gender studies.

AMS 390 • 20th-Cen Us Social Movements

30685 • Fall 2011
Meets W 10:00AM-1:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as HIS 389)

coming soon

T C 302 • American Animals: A Cul Hist

43395 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CRD 007B

Description:

This course explores the central—if hitherto unrecognized—role that animals have played in shaping American history. This course is interdisciplinary, which means that we will use multiple methodological lenses throughout the semester. Topics of discussion include Native American animal cosmologies; wandering animals and concepts of property; animals in entertainment; hunting; vegetarianism; changing cultural attitudes about nature; animals and evolutionary theory; the rise of the animal welfare and animal rights movements;  laboring animals and the nation’s move to a motorized economy; animals and war; the growth of pet keeping as a cultural practice and billion-dollar business today; factory farms; the rise of veterinary science; zoos; and more. We will use the rich environmental resources and world-class library facilities at UT-Austin to enhance our examination of animals and the cultural life and history of the United States.

 

Requirements: 

Mandatory class attendance, attendance of University Lecture Series, and completion of all reading and writing assignments. Each student will serve as a discussion leader for one class; each student will write 6 weekly review essays and/or study questions (at least half of these papers will be essays) that will be shared with the whole class in advance of each meeting—students will be expected to integrate material from the University Lecture Series into select review essay/study questions assignments; each student will prepare a ten-minute class presentation based upon h/her research work, and will submit a final research paper of ten-fifteen pages in length on a topic relating to the course material of his or her choosing. Prior to final submission, students will critique each other’s drafts and will have an opportunity to revise their papers based upon suggestions from peers and from me.

Grade Breakdown:

Discussion: 20%

Short Papers (6 total; at least 3 of which are essays and no more than 3 are study questions): 20%

Class Presentation: 15%

Research Paper (Draft and Final Version): 45%

 

Readings:

Subject to change

Virginia Anderson, Creatures of Empire

Marshall Saunders, Beautiful Joe

Katherine Grier, Pets in America

James Turner, Reckoning with the Beast

Jennifer Price, Flight Maps

Nigel Rothfels, ed., Representing Animals

Susan Jones, Valuing Animals: Veterinarians and Their Patients in Modern America

Laura Hillenbrandt, Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Gregg Mitman, Reel Nature: America’s Romance with Wildlife on Film

Elizabeth Hanson, Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos

 

About the Professor:

Janet Davis is currently working on a social and cultural history of the animal welfare movement from 1866-1930, paying special attention to the place of evangelical Christians and radical humanists in the United States and abroad. She has taught courses on multiple subjects at UT, including American Studies, popular culture, nineteenth and twentieth-century cultural and social history, Women's Studies, and modern South Asia.

WGS 345 • Animals & American Culture

47800 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 228
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)

350R

This course partially fulfills the Legislative Requirement in American History and is also a writing component course.

 

Course Scope: A wandering pig played a central role in creating a bicameral legislature in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1644.  According to John Winthrop, the colony’s first governor, “There fell out a great business upon a very small occasion”:  a poor widow and a wealthy merchant went to the General Court regarding the disputed ownership of a stray sow.  Although popular sympathies rested with the widow, the Court ruled in favor of the merchant, thus prompting the Court’s assistants and deputies to divide formally into two distinct legislative houses in order to make the colony’s government more representative. This is but one example of the central—if hitherto unrecognized—role that animals have played in shaping the course of American history. This interdisciplinary upper-division undergraduate seminar explores the place of animals in the social, cultural, economic, and political life of the United States. Topics of discussion include animals in entertainment; hunting; vegetarianism; changing cultural attitudes about nature; wandering animals and property rights;  animals and evolutionary theory; the rise of the animal welfare and animal rights movements;  laboring animals and the nation’s move to a motorized economy; animals and war; the growth of pet keeping as a cultural practice and big business; factory farms; the rise of veterinary science; zoos; and more.

Course requirements:  Mandatory class attendance and completion of all reading and writing assignments. Each student will serve as a discussion leader for one class; each student will also write weekly response papers and/or study questions; each student will prepare a class presentation based upon h/her research work, and will submit a final research paper of ten-fifteen pages in length on a topic relating to the course material of his or her choosing.

TENTATIVE Reading List (will be modified):

Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

James Turner, Reckoning with the Beast

Jennifer Price, Flight Maps

Steve Baker, The Postmodern Animal

Susan Jones, Valuing Animals: Veterinarians and Their Patients in Modern America

Ingrid Newkirk, Free the Animals: The Story of the Animal Liberation Front

Laura Hillenbrandt, Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Gregg Mitman, Reel Nature: America’s Romance with Wildlife on Film

Elizabeth Hanson, Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos

 

 

 

 

 

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

29485 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GEA 105
(also listed as HIS 315G)

Description

AMS 310 is an introductory course in American Studies—the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. We will begin our journey by considering some of the critical transformations—both physical and ideological—that World War II brought to American society and culture.  Filled with televisions, cars, suburbs, malls and chain stores, the landscape that we know so well today came of age during this period.  Throughout the course, we will analyze how communities, broadly defined by differing variables like age, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, class and/or political persuasion, have wrestled with questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion in modern America. While the course will proceed chronologically, I have organized these topics around three separate themes: consumerism, youth culture, and multiculturalism.                 

 

Requirements

First exam (in-class): 20%

Second exam (in-class): 30%

Final take-home exam: 50 %.

In addition to the graded assignments, regular attendance is expected.

 

Possible Texts

Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory

Mary Brave Bird, Lakota Woman

Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi

 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

WGS 340 • Amer Pop Culture, 1682-Present

47080 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 228
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

AMS 370/HIS/WGS: “American Popular Culture: 1682-Present”
Fall 2010
Professor Janet M. Davis

This course fulfills a Writing Flag and the Cultural Diversity in the United States Flag.

In 1682, the first American bestseller was published. Audiences in the American colonies and in England devoured Mary Rowlandson’s breathless account of her harrowing experiences as a captive of the Narragansett and Nipmunk Indians during King Philip’s War in The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.  Taking a long, historical view, this course explores the evolution of American popular culture and its relationship to national consolidation (and at times, disunion) over the last 330 years. Starting with oral, religious, print, and live performance traditions during the colonial, early national, and antebellum periods, this course will consider the cultural impact of new technologies such as steam power, the railroad, photography, recorded sound, celluloid, the electronic transmission of moving images (i.e. television), and the internet.  Throughout the semester, we will stress the centrality of race, gender, and class in shaping the production and content of popular culture, modes of popular representation, the composition of popular audiences, and types of reception.


Tentative Reading List (Will Likely Change!):

Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, ed., Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives
P.T. Barnum, The Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself
Ken Emerson, Doo-dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture
W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
Paula Marantz Cohen, Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth
Tiny Kline, Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Life of Tiny Kline
Susan Douglas, Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination
Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday
Aniko Bodroghkozy, Groove Tube: Sixties Television and the Youth Rebellion

AMS 390 • Amer Pop Cul: Thry And Method

29870 • Spring 2010
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM BUR 436B

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 350L • Animals And American Cul-W

39715 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.134

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

AMS 390 • 20th-Cen Us Social Movements

29490 • Spring 2007
Meets W 10:00AM-1:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as HIS 389)

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 350L • Animals And American Culture-W

40520 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BIO 301

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

AMS 390 • Animals, Cul, Society, & Hist

28660 • Spring 2006
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM GAR 301

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 350L • Animals And American Culture-W

37275 • Spring 2005
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 301

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

AMS 390 • Amer Pop Cul: Thry And Method

27945 • Fall 2004
Meets W 4:00PM-7:00PM GAR 301

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 398T • Supv Teaching In American Stds

26380 • Spring 2004
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM GAR 301

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

35905 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM TAY 2.006

Description: This is a lecture course on postwar American culture and society with special emphasis on the 1950s and 1960s. Issues to be discussed include the domestic impact of the Cold War, the effects of McCarthyism on politics and the entertainment world, the problems of affluence in the 1950s, the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, the cultural relationships between the United States and the rest of the world, as well as conflicts between blacks and whites, the middle class and blue-collar workers, men and women, parents and children. The lectures will deal primarily with cultural and intellectual history, while the reading draws heavily on novels, journalism and social criticism.  Therefore, no one should enroll in this course who has not already taken at least one, preferably upper-division, course in 20th century American history.  Nor should anyone take the course if they are unfamiliar with trends in modern American literature, art, music, and movies.  In addition, since students will be asked to write two 10-15 page papers (there are no exams) based on the reading, you should not register for the course if you are unaccustomed to writing in-depth analytical essays, especially about novels.

Texts: Partial List, All Required:   

  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • John Updike, Rabbit Run
  • Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  • Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night
  • Richard Pells, Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture Since World War II

Grading:

Two 10-15 page papers, each counting 50% of the course grade.  Each paper will analyze two books on the reading list, one of which must be a novel.  The first paper will deal with the culture of the 1940s and 1950s; the second, with American culture from the 1960s to the present.


AMS 390 • 20th-Cen Us Social Movements

26485 • Fall 2003
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM GAR 301

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

36180 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GSB 2.126

 

 

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

35230 • Spring 2003
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 1

 

 

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

35820 • Spring 2003
Meets TH 7:00PM-10:00PM WEL 2.308

Description: This is a lecture course on postwar American culture and society with special emphasis on the 1950s and 1960s. Issues to be discussed include the domestic impact of the Cold War, the effects of McCarthyism on politics and the entertainment world, the problems of affluence in the 1950s, the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, the cultural relationships between the United States and the rest of the world, as well as conflicts between blacks and whites, the middle class and blue-collar workers, men and women, parents and children. The lectures will deal primarily with cultural and intellectual history, while the reading draws heavily on novels, journalism and social criticism.  Therefore, no one should enroll in this course who has not already taken at least one, preferably upper-division, course in 20th century American history.  Nor should anyone take the course if they are unfamiliar with trends in modern American literature, art, music, and movies.  In addition, since students will be asked to write two 10-15 page papers (there are no exams) based on the reading, you should not register for the course if you are unaccustomed to writing in-depth analytical essays, especially about novels.

Texts: Partial List, All Required:   

  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • John Updike, Rabbit Run
  • Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  • Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night
  • Richard Pells, Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture Since World War II

Grading:

Two 10-15 page papers, each counting 50% of the course grade.  Each paper will analyze two books on the reading list, one of which must be a novel.  The first paper will deal with the culture of the 1940s and 1950s; the second, with American culture from the 1960s to the present.


AMS 390 • Amer Pop Cul: Thry And Method

26150 • Fall 2002
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM CBA 4.346

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

35740 • Fall 2002
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 1

 

 

AMS 390 • 20th-Cen Us Social Movements

26000 • Spring 2002
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM CBA 4.336

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

35665 • Spring 2002
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WEL 2.246

Description: This is a lecture course on postwar American culture and society with special emphasis on the 1950s and 1960s. Issues to be discussed include the domestic impact of the Cold War, the effects of McCarthyism on politics and the entertainment world, the problems of affluence in the 1950s, the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, the cultural relationships between the United States and the rest of the world, as well as conflicts between blacks and whites, the middle class and blue-collar workers, men and women, parents and children. The lectures will deal primarily with cultural and intellectual history, while the reading draws heavily on novels, journalism and social criticism.  Therefore, no one should enroll in this course who has not already taken at least one, preferably upper-division, course in 20th century American history.  Nor should anyone take the course if they are unfamiliar with trends in modern American literature, art, music, and movies.  In addition, since students will be asked to write two 10-15 page papers (there are no exams) based on the reading, you should not register for the course if you are unaccustomed to writing in-depth analytical essays, especially about novels.

Texts: Partial List, All Required:   

  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • John Updike, Rabbit Run
  • Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  • Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night
  • Richard Pells, Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture Since World War II

Grading:

Two 10-15 page papers, each counting 50% of the course grade.  Each paper will analyze two books on the reading list, one of which must be a novel.  The first paper will deal with the culture of the 1940s and 1950s; the second, with American culture from the 1960s to the present.


AMS 390 • Empire & Amer Pop Cul Snc 1890

26335 • Spring 2001
Meets T 12:00PM-3:00PM CBA 4.346

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

35170 • Spring 2001
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM ART 1.102

 

 

AMS 390 • Amer Pop Cul: Thry And Method

26775 • Fall 2000
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM GAR 301

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

Publications


Books

The Gospel of Kindenss: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (Oxford University Press, April 2016).

Editor, Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Memoir of Tiny Kline, by Tiny Kline (University of Illinois Press, June 2008).

The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top (University of North Carolina Press, September  2002). 

Articles

“Bird Day: Promoting the Gospel of Kindness in the Philippines during the American Occupation,” in Mark Lawrence, Erika Bsumek, and David Kinkella , editors, The Nation-State and the Transnational Environment (currently under review at Oxford University Press)

“Thinking about Empire, Frontier and the Evolution of the English and American Circus,” in Between Margin and Center – The Circus as Modernity in a Nutshell, edited by Yoram Carmeli (Washington, D.C.: American University Press, forthcoming, Winter 2010)

“Propagating the Gospel of Animal Kindness: Sacred Cows, Christians, and American Animal Welfare Activism with Reference to India at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” in Speaking Truth to Power: Religion, Caste, and the Subaltern Question in India, edited by Manu Bhagavan and Anne Feldhaus (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, June 2008): 47-61  

“Cultural Watersheds in Fin de Siécle America,” 8,000-word essay in A Companion to American Cultural History (Blackwell Companions to American History), edited by Karen Halttunen, (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, February 2008): 166-180

“Proletarian Daredevil,” review essay of Paul E. Johnson, Sam Patch, the Famous Jumper (New York: Hill and Wang, 2003), in Reviews in American History 32(2004): 176-183

“Instruct the Minds of All Classes: Celebrations of Empire at the American Circus, 1898-1910,” in Dreams of Paradise, Visions of Apocalypse, edited by Jaap Verheul. (Amsterdam: VU Press, November 2003): 58-68

“With the Greatest of Unease,” (New York) Newsday, February 24, 2002,  B7

“The Life of Tiny Kline and the Evolution of Twentieth-Century American Mass Culture,”  Bandwagon: Journal of the Circus Historical Society  45, no. 2 (May-June 2001): 4-8

“Spectacles of South Asia at the American Circus, 1890-1940,” Visual Anthropology, 6, no. 2 (1993): 121-138


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