center for women and gender studies
logo for center for women and gender studies

Julia Mickenberg


Associate ProfessorPh. D., University of Minnesota

Julia Mickenberg

Contact

  • Phone: 512-232-2650
  • Office: BUR 420
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-5:00
  • Campus Mail Code: B7100

Interests


History of the Left/radical cultures, women's history, history of childhood and children's literature, Russian studies, Americans abroad, utopia

Biography


Julia L. Mickenberg grew up in Connecticut, about 90 miles from New York City.  She holds an A.B. degree in American Civilization from Brown University and a Ph.D. in American Studies (with a minor in Feminist Studies) from the University of Minnesota. Prior to graduate school she did work in public history, at the Smithsonian Institution, the Old York Historical Society (in York Maine), and with the National Park Service in Stehekin, Washington. Before starting as an assistant professor at UT in 2001 she taught history at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, running, hiking, and reading fiction.

Research Interests

Professor Mickenberg is an interdisciplinary historian of women, children, and radical cultures in the twentieth century. She is interested in the cultural milieu of leftist political movements involving women and children; and in the tension between utopian desire (for more just and satisfying social arrangements) and the practical realities of human fallibility, abuse of power, and limited resources. She is drawn toward unexplored and repressed dimensions of the historical record, including stories of individuals and communities (local, national, and international) whose significance has heretofore been overlooked. Her effort to understand and reveal these dynamics is undergirded by deep archival research, close reading, and oral history. Through courses taught and in her role as a leader of the campus conversations and chair of the faculty innovation task force, she's become increasingly interested in higher education as an institution of both liberatory possibility and social control.

Courses Taught

Professor Mickenberg teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S. cultural history, the cultures of American radicalism, Americans abroad, childhood studies, women radicals and reformers, and the 1960s. She regularly teaches a Plan II Honors course on College and Controversy, and recently developed a collaboratively-taught course with Kate Catterall (Design) and Rich Reddick (Educational Administration) on the History and Future of Higher Education.


Media Appearances

Stars and Tsars: Backstory with the American History Guys

Rag Radio, the History and Future of Higher Education

Book TV, discussing Tales for Little Rebels

To the Best of Our Knowledge, discussing Learning from the Left

The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC, discussing Tales for Little Rebels

Against the Grain, KPFA, discussing Tales for Little Rebels


Courses


AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

30685 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM UTC 1.132
(also listed as HIS 356K)

Course description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed; and the impact of race, class, region, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American identity and cultural expression. We will also consider American culture in a global context, both in terms of how the U.S. has been shaped by foreign influences and in terms of American culture’s impact abroad. The course, divided into sections on “Incorporation,” “Consolidation,” and “Unraveling” will emphasize the ongoing tension between structure and agency in American culture, or struggles between the dominant culture and various subcultures and individuals who challenge and redefine “American” culture and its norms, mores, and values.

Required Texts and Materials (available at UT Co-op):

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward (Broadview Press edition)

Claude McKay, Home to Harlem

Miné Okubo, Citizen 13660

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (revised and updated edition)

Mary Crow Dog, Lakota Woman

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

T C 302 • College And Controversy

42775 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 436B

Description:

This course is designed to give incoming students the opportunity to reflect upon colleges and universities as institutions, imagined places, and sites of controversy in American culture. We will discuss the history and purposes of the university; fictional depictions of college life in literature and film; debates surrounding such topics as fraternities, sports and alcohol; the relationship between struggles for social justice and university curricula; and the tensions between ideals of disinterested learning and the pressures of the marketplace. Finally, we’ll study the ways in which larger issues in higher education have played out, and continue to play out, at the University of Texas.

 

Texts:

Andrew Delbanco, College: What it is, Was, and Should Be

Zadie Smith, On Beauty

Doug Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity

Additional readings on-line or in packet

 

Films (excerpts):

The Freshman

Animal House

Berkeley in the Sixties

When I Rise

 

Requirements:

Paper 1: Reflective assignment (initial assignment + end-of-semester revision)—10%

Paper 2: Fictions and realities of college—20%

Paper 3: Ethnography exploring college life today 15%

Primary source/historical context presentation--10%

Paper 4: Final group research project (includes written work, collaboration, and presentation)—25%

Participation: Includes quizzes, online and in-class discussion: 20%

 

About the Professor:
Julia Mickenberg has been teaching in UT’s Department of American Studies since 2001. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and an A.B. from Brown University. She’s written or edited several prize-winning books dealing with children’s literature and cultural politics, and recently completed a book about Russia in the American feminist imagination from 1905-1945. Her research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution. For fun, in addition to reading novels and watching movies about college, she does yoga, runs, and goes on adventures with her husband, two daughters, and their frisky yellow lab, Stanley.

AMS 370 • History & Future Of Higher Ed

29884 • Spring 2016
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM PCL 2.500

There has been a great deal of attention focused on higher education in recent years: why is college so expensive? What’s the point of college anyway? Should taxpayers support the pursuit of “intellectual curiosity?” As texts and learning itself become increasingly digitized, will actual classrooms and libraries become relics of the past? Are universities hotbeds of racism, drunkenness, and sexual assault? Or are they, on the other hand, plagued by political correctness and hotbeds of protest? What is the role of colleges and universities in struggles for social justice? And perhaps the biggest question of all: how can colleges and universities best prepare young people—indeed, all kinds of people—for  the future? The fact is that most of these questions can be traced to debates and circumstances that have been part of the higher education landscape for years. This experimental and experiential course examines the university in American life, past and present, as a means for imagining its possible futures.

 

Over the past year or so, faculty and administrators from around the university have been engaged in discussions about how we might best break down barriers at UT: barriers between research and teaching; between disciplines and colleges; between faculty, students, and the wider community. This course is a prototype for the type of research-based learning community that we hope to foster through a new Innovation Center on campus. Cross-listed in the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts, and working in collaboration with another course in the Department of Design, the class will include undergraduates and graduate students from a range of different disciplines. The intent is to involve students in original, collaborative research on the role of colleges and universities in American life, past and present. It will also bring students into dialogue with other members of the university community and beyond through guest speakers, symposia, and a culminating conference during which class members will present their research to the public. Students will be active players in all aspects of the course.

 

 

Likely course texts:

Andrew Delbanco, College: What it Is, Was, and Should Be

Zadie Smith, On Beauty

Boren, M.E. (2001). Student resistance: A history of the unruly subject.

Lucas, C.J. (2006). American higher education: A history (2nd ed .)

Additional readings as assigned

 

Requirements:

Active participation

Two short papers

Research paper

Reading/research diary

Public presentation

AMS 390 • Sea Changes In The Sixties

29955 • Spring 2016
Meets TH 11:00AM-2:00PM BUR 436B

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

30050 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K)

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

Description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, examining how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and how the United States has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Nella Larsen, Quicksand

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Luis Valdez,Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

WGS 340 • Children's Lit And Amer Cul

46050 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 436A
(also listed as AMS 370)

Flag(s): Writing, Independent Inquiry

 

Description

This course will trace the history of American childhood through children’s literature. Using selected texts from the colonial era to the present, we will use children's texts as lenses for understanding American culture and American cultural history more generally. Understanding how childhood and children’s literature have changed over time tells us a great deal about the ways in which the broader culture and society have evolved. It is easy to take children’s literature for granted: we’ve all read it, and, indeed, we all read it as kids. What could be simpler, more obvious, or less worthy of critical examination? This class will ask students to think critically about children's literature and to think about how these texts are informed by and also contribute to a broader cultural context.

 

 

Requirements

1. Participation (25%): Includes: attendance, active and informed participation in class discussions, two presentations, in-class writing and short (one page) out of class assignments

2. Two 4-5 page papers (20% each)

3. One 8-10 page research paper (35%)

 

 

Possible Texts

Ann Scott MacLeod, American Childhood: Essays on Children’s Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Steve Mintz, Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women(Norton Critical Edition)

Dr. Seuss, The Sneetches and Other Stories

Doris Gates, Blue Willow

Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Alice Childress, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich

Jean Luen Yang, American Born Chinese

 

Additional packet of readings

AMS 386 • Cultural Hist Of Us Since 1865

30215 • Spring 2015
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B

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

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

38745 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 134

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 370 • Exiles/Expats/Pol Pilgrims

31015 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 228

This course looks at Americans living abroad for political reasons from the 1920s-1950s: we will consider both individuals and groups who have visited and settled in other countries in search of a way of life that they believe will be more deeply fulfilling than life in the United States, or who were no longer able to live in the United States because of their political circumstances. The class will take into account a variety of primary and secondary sources, focusing on several different countries at various moments in the twentieth century, including France, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. We will explore the ways in which foreign experiences affected individuals’ perspective on the United States, social critiques of the U.S. that precipitated or resulted from expatriation, the ways in which foreigners responded to Americans in their midst, and Americans’ experiences of other nations. The course will also attempt comparisons across historical eras and geographical expanses. Within these dynamics, we will give special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Jews, and women, who experienced marginalization from the American mainstream and looked beyond U.S. borders for models of citizenship and selfhood.

 

Requirements

Regular attendance and informed participation; a reading journal; a comparative essay, and a group research project with formal presentation.

 

Possible Texts

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Myra Page, Moscow Yankee

Melanie Ann Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett

Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return

Brooke L. Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris

Kate Baldwin, Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red

Rebecca Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico

Tyler Stovall, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light

Additional readings on Blackboard or in packet

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity, Global Cultures

T C 302 • College And Controversy

43360 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 436B

T C 302 • College And Controversy

Julia Mickenberg

College and Controversy: The Histories, Purposes and Cultures of American Universities

 

Description:

This course is designed to give incoming students the opportunity to reflect upon colleges and universities as institutions, imagined places, and sites of controversy in American culture. We will discuss the history and purposes of the university; fictional depictions of college life in literature and film; debates surrounding such topics as fraternities, sports and alcohol; the relationship between struggles for social justice and university curricula; and the tensions between ideals of disinterested learning and the pressures of the marketplace. Finally, we’ll study the ways in which larger issues in higher education have played out, and continue to play out, at the University of Texas.

 

Probable Texts:

 Andrew Delbanco, College: What it is, Was, and Should Be

 Zadie Smith, On Beauty

 Charles Clotfelter, Big-Time Sports in American Universities

 Professor X, In the Basement of the Ivory Tower: The Truth About College

 Additional readings on-line or in packet

 

Films:

 The Freshman

 Animal House

 Berkeley in the Sixties

 When I Rise

 

Requirements:

 Paper 1: The purpose of college/goals for college (initial assignment + end-of-semester revision)—20%

 Paper 2: Discussion of fictional representations of College—20%

 Paper 3: Ethnography and critical discussion assignment 20%

 Paper 4: Final group research project (includes written work, collaboration, and presentation)—25%

 Participation: Includes quizzes, online and in-class discussion: 15%

 

About the Professor:

Julia Mickenberg has been teaching in UT’s Department of American Studies since 2001. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and an A.B. from Brown University. She’s written or edited several prize-winning books dealing with children’s literature and cultural politics, and is currently writing a book about Russia in the American feminist imagination from 1905-1945. Her research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution. For fun, in addition to reading novels and watching movies about college, she does yoga, runs, and goes on adventures with her husband, two daughters, and their frisky yellow lab, Stanley.

 

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

31180 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K)

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, examining how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and how the United States has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Nella Larsen, Quicksand

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Luis Valdez,Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 386 • Cultural Hist Of Us Since 1865

31220 • Spring 2014
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B

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

AMS 370 • Socty, Cul, Polit In 1960s

30860 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 127

In this class we will explore the major social movements and the political, cultural and intellectual developments of the 1960s, as well as their origins in the 1950s and earlier.  These include post-war liberalism; the Great Society and the War on Poverty; the New Left; the Free Speech Movement; the peace movement; the Civil Rights movement; nationalist and liberation movements among African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, American Indians, gays and lesbians, and women; the youth movement and counterculture; the conservative movement; and the environmental movement.  Throughout, we shall seek to learn not only what happened, but also why it happened; moreover, as members of a university community, we will be attentive to the question of how political and social activity in the 1960s, activity inspired largely by young people in and around universities, has affected our lives today and our relationship to politics and civic life.

In the 1960s spirit of “participatory democracy” this class will be run as something of a cooperative enterprise.  Rather than working on the model of expert teacher and student receptacles-of-knowledge, as students you will be actively contributing to the course content through your own research and presentations to the class.  In other words, your active participation is essential to the success of the course.  If you were hoping for a more passive learning experience, you should look elsewhere.

 

Requirements

Formal presentation

Two 4-6 page papers

One eight-to-ten page paper requiring research and revision

Regular informed participation in on-line blackboard discussion and in-class discussion

Regular attendance is also mandatory

 

Possible Texts

Andrew Jameson and Ron Eyerman, Seeds of the Sixties

Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, Takin’ It To the Streets: A Sixties Reader

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

 

T C 302 • College And Controversy

43400 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CRD 007A

College and Controversy: The Histories, Purposes and Cultures of American Universities

Description:

This course is designed to give incoming students the opportunity to reflect upon colleges and universities as institutions, imagined places, and sites of controversy in American culture. We will discuss the history and purposes of the university; fictional depictions of college life in literature and film; debates surrounding such topics as fraternities, sports and alcohol; the relationship between struggles for social justice and university curricula; and the tensions between ideals of disinterested learning and the pressures of the marketplace. Finally, we’ll study the ways in which larger issues in higher education have played out, and continue to play out, at the University of Texas.

Texts:

Delbanco, College: What it is, Was, and Should Be

Zadie Smith, On Beauty

Murray Sperber, Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports is Crippling Undergraduate Education

Christopher Newfield, Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class

Additional readings on-line or in packet

Films:

The Freshman

Animal House

Berkeley in the Sixties

When I Rise

Requirements:

Paper 1: The purpose of college/goals for college—20%

Paper 2: Discussion of fictional representations of College—20%

Paper 3: Ethnography and critical discussion assignment 20%

Paper 4: Final group research project (includes written work, collaboration, and presentation)—25%

Participation: Includes quizzes, online and in-class discussion: 15%

About the Professor:

Julia Mickenberg has been teaching in UT’s Department of American Studies since 2001. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and an A.B. from Brown University. She’s written or edited several prize-winning books dealing with children’s literature and cultural politics, and is currently writing a book about Russia in the American feminist imagination from 1905-1945. Her research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution. For fun, in addition to reading novels and watching movies about college, she does yoga, runs, and goes on adventures with her husband, two daughters, and their frisky yellow lab, Stanley.

AMS 370 • Children's Lit And Amer Cul

30800 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 228
(also listed as E 324)

This course will trace the history of American childhood through children’s literature. Using selected texts from the colonial era to the present, we will use children's texts as lenses for understanding American culture and American cultural history more generally. Understanding how childhood and children’s literature have changed over time tells us a great deal about the ways in which the broader culture and society have evolved. It is easy to take children’s literature for granted: we’ve all read it, and, indeed, we all read it as kids. What could be simpler, more obvious, or less worthy of critical examination? This class will ask students to think critically about children's literature and to think about how these texts are informed by and also contribute to a broader cultural context.

Requirements

1. Participation (25%): Includes: attendance, active and informed participation in class discussions, two presentations, in-class writing and short (one page) out of class assignments

2. Two 4-5 page papers (20% each)

3. One 8-10 page research paper (35%)

Possible Texts

Ann Scott MacLeod, American Childhood: Essays on Children’s Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Steve Mintz, Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Norton Critical Edition)

Dr. Seuss, The Sneetches and Other Stories

Doris Gates, Blue Willow

Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Alice Childress, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich

Jean Luen Yang, American Born Chinese

Additional packet of readings

Upper-division standing required.  Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

 

WGS 393 • Childhood Studies

47497 • Spring 2013
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as AMS 390)

What does it mean to study culture through the lens of childhood? This course will focus on scholarship of a historical and/or literary bent, but also delve into sociology, politics, media studies, psychology, visual culture, performance studies, material culture, and other fields.  Drawing on a range of recent scholarship but also giving some attention to the development of this relatively young field, we consider such issues as the metaphorical configuration of the United States as an “infant nation” and the implications of this both for children and for nation-building; the late 19th and early twentieth centuries as the “age of the child”; psychoanalysis and children’s literature; the image of the child in visual culture; race, gender, and sexuality as experienced and constructed through children and childhood; the cultural implications of children’s clothing and material culture; modernism and the rise of the picture book for children; the history of American summer camps; Walt Disney, childrearing, and American national identity; and the politics of childhood. Students will write short response papers and blackboard postings, lead one discussion, present on one supplemental text and write a short review of it and write a final paper on a topic of their choosing 

Requirements

Participation (class discussion, response papers, blackboard postings): 25%

Leading discussion: 10%

Presentation and review of supplemental text: 15%

Final paper: 50%

Possible Texts

Kenneth Kidd Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature

Nicholas Sammond, Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960

Nathalie op de Beeck, Suspended Animation: Children’s Picture Books and the Fairy Tale of Modernity

Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing Childhood and Race from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the New Negro Movement

Daniel Thomas Cook, The Commodification of Childhood

Katherine Capshaw-Smith, Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

Caroline Levander, Cradle of Liberty: Race, the Child, and National Belonging from Thomas Jefferson to W.E.B. DuBois

Margaret Higonnet, Pictures of Innocence: This History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood

Anne Arnett Ferguson, Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity

Sarah Chinn, Inventing Modern Adolescence

Kathryn Bond Stockton, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

30605 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K)

Description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, both in terms of how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and in terms of how the U.S. has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers 

Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left: 1950-1975

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

AMS 370 • Exiles/Expats/Politcl Pilgrims

30620 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 228

Description:

This course looks at Americans living abroad for political reasons from the 1920s-1950s: we will consider both individuals and groups who have visited and settled in other countries in search of a way of life that they believe will be more deeply fulfilling than life in the United States, or who were no longer able to live in the United States because of their political circumstances. The class will take into account a variety of primary and secondary sources, focusing on several different countries at various moments in the twentieth century, including France, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. We will explore the ways in which foreign experiences affected individuals’ perspective on the United States, social critiques of the U.S. that precipitated or resulted from expatriation, the ways in which foreigners responded to Americans in their midst, and Americans’ experiences of other nations. The course will also attempt comparisons across historical eras and geographical expanses. Within these dynamics, we will give special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Jews, and women, who experienced marginalization from the American mainstream and looked beyond U.S. borders for models of citizenship and selfhood. Assignments include a reading journal, close reading of a primary source in a social and historical context, a comparative essay, and a research paper, as well as a formal presentation.

 

Possible Texts:

Vilem Flusser, Exile and Creativity

Edward Said, Reflections on Exile

Nancy L. Green, Expatriation, Expatriates, and Expats: The American Transformation of a Concept

George Lamming, The Pleasures of Exile

Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return

Brooke L. Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris

Paul Hollander, Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society

Langston Hughes, I Wonder as I Wander

Katherine Ann Porter, Violetta the Virgin

Dorothy West, A Room in Red Square

Emma Goldman, My Disillusionment With Russia

Kate Baldwin, Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red

Daniel Soyer, Back to the Future: American Jews Visit the Soviet Union

Arthur Koestler, ed. The God That Failed or Darkness at Noon

José Limon, American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States, and the Erotics of Culture

Rebecca Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico

Gordon Kahn, A Long Way from Home

Ella Winter, Red Virtue

Tyler Stovall, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light 

 

Films: Paris Was a Woman; The Circus; Tina in Mexico; The Brave One

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Global Cultures

 

AMS 398T • Supv Teaching In American Stds

30975 • Spring 2011
Meets TH 9:00AM-12:00PM BUR 436B

This goal of this course is to provide you with practical tools for teaching your own college-level course in American Studies and related fields, and to introduce you to some of the larger issues around teaching in higher education. Topics covered will include: course development and design; pedagogical methods; creating effective assignments; leading discussion; lecturing; using writing as a teaching tool; testing and evaluation; integrating technology; guiding student research; advising and mentoring; balancing teaching and research; and motivating students’ learning. Throughout the course we will reflect upon the qualities of good teaching, and, in particular, good teaching of interdisciplinary material.

Requirements1.    Students will design two courses: First, an AMS 311S course that assumes a class of 30 students or fewer, that focuses on a topic of your choosing, and that makes writing a central component of the course. Second, an Introduction to American Studies course that is geared to a class of 100 students or more. Both syllabi should be posted on blackboard by Tuesday, May 3 for discussion at our final class meeting on Thursday, May 5.2.    Interview an American Studies faculty member about teaching and observe at least one of that professor’s undergraduate classes. Also (with permission) attend one class taught by a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.3.    Microteaching: Prepare one 30 minute lecture, which we will videotape and go over. Plan to invite several guests.4.    Lead class discussion of readings for one hour of 3-hour period (sign up first class period)5.     Formulate and refine a philosophy of teaching6.    Smaller assignments throughout the semester (see below)7.    Regular attendance and informed participation in class discussionPossible TextsPeter Filene, The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College InstructorsPacket of Additional materials from Speedway CopiesBarbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching (available in co-op or as e-book)John C. Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the ClassroomRecommended:Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College TeachersMcKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. Useful on-line resources:UT Center for Teaching and Learninghttp://www.utexas.edu/academic/ctl/

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

29615 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K)

Description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, both in terms of how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and in terms of how the U.S. has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers

Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660 

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left: 1950-1975  

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

AMS 370 • Socty, Cul, Polit In 1960s

29670 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 0.120

Description

                  In this class we will explore the major social movements and the political, cultural and intellectual developments of the 1960s, as well as their origins in the 1950s and earlier.  These include post-war liberalism; the Great Society and the War on Poverty; the New Left; the Free Speech Movement; the peace movement; the Civil Rights movement; nationalist and liberation movements among African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, American Indians, gays and lesbians, and women; the youth movement and counterculture; the conservative movement; and the environmental movement.  Throughout, we shall seek to learn not only what happened, but also why it happened; moreover, as members of a university community, we will be attentive to the question of how political and social activity in the 1960s, activity inspired largely by young people in and around universities, has affected our lives today and our relationship to politics and civic life.

                  In the 1960s spirit of “participatory democracy” this class will be run as something of a cooperative enterprise.  Rather than working on the model of expert teacher and student receptacles-of-knowledge, as students you will be actively contributing to the course content through your own research and presentations to the class.  In other words, your active participation is essential to the success of the course.  If you were hoping for a more passive learning experience, you should look elsewhere.

 

Requirements

Formal presentation

Two 4-6 page papers

One eight-to-ten page paper requiring research and revision

Regular informed participation in on-line blackboard discussion and in-class discussion

Regular attendance is also mandatory

 

Possible Texts

Andrew Jameson and Ron Eyerman, Seeds of the Sixties

Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, Takin’ It To the Streets: A Sixties Reader

B.F. Skinner, Walden Two

Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Doug Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity

 

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

AMS 390 • Modnsm, Feminism, & Radicalism

29425 • Spring 2009
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

40400 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 108

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 386 • Cultural Hist Of Us Since 1865

29895 • Spring 2008
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B

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

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

40265 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 4.110

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 398T • Supv Teaching In American Stds

30580 • Fall 2007
Meets TH 9:00AM-12:00PM UTC 4.120

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 390 • Childhd/Youth: Interdis Persp

30060 • Fall 2006
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 228

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

40705 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 216

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.


HIS 356K • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

38735 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 4.134

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 • Cold War Culture

27952 • Fall 2004
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM PAR 214

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

37765 • Fall 2004
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GSB 2.126

 

 

AMS 390 • Cultures Of Amer Radicalism

26305 • Spring 2004
Meets TH 9:00AM-12:00PM CBA 4.336

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

35495 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 1

 

 

WGS 394 • Conf Crs In Wom'S/Gend Studies

46095 • Fall 2003

WGS 394: Graduate Conference Course in Women's and Gender Studies.

Individual directed readings and conferences on selected problems or topics in women's and gender studies.

The Conference Course allows  graduate students to work individually with select faculty on specific research problems.  The student is responsible for approaching faculty and designing a semester's work.

The Conference Course is restricted.  The WGS 394 Approval Form must be turned into the CWGS office with faculty signatures before students may register for the WGS 394 Conference Course. 

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/cwgs/courses/conference.php

 

AMS 390 • Childhd/Youth: Interdis Persp

25690 • Spring 2003
Meets TH 9:00AM-12:00PM CBA 4.336

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 390 • Popular Front

25990 • Spring 2002
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM GAR 301

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

HIS 306N • Intro To American Studies

36220 • Fall 2001
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM UTC 4.122

 

 

Publications


Julia Mickenberg's book, American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream, will be published in spring 2017 by University of Chicago Press, and is based on research in archives and libraries across the United States, and in Moscow, London, Amsterdam, and Paris. Mickenberg is the author of Learning from the Left: Children's Literature, The Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (2006), which won awards from the Society for the History of Children and Youth, the Children's Literature Association's, the Pacific Coast Branch Award of the American Historical Association, a UT Cooperative Society. She is also co-editor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature (2008) and The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature (2011), which won the Children's Literature Association's 2011 Edited Book Award. She has also published numerous articles in venues including the Journal of American History, American Quarterly, and American Literary History.The New Woman Tries on Red: Russia in the American Feminist Imagination, 1905-1945. Under contract with University of Chicago Press.

Books

Leaning from the Left: Children's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (Oxford U.P., 2006).

Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature, edited with Philip Nel (New York U.P., 2008).

The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature. Edited with Lynne Vallone. (Oxford U.P., 2011).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

"Suffragettes and Soviets: American Feminists and the Specter of Revolutionary Russia." Journal of American History 100 (March 2014), 1021-51

“Radical Children’s Literature Now!” (co-authored with Philip Nel). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, forthcoming, fall 2011.

“The New Generation and the New Russia: Modern Childhood as Collective Fantasy.” American Quarterly 62:1 (March 2010): 103-134.

“Nursing Radicalism: Some Lessons from a Postwar Girls’ Series.” American Literary History 19:2 (summer 2007), 491-520.

“Of Funnybones, Steam Shovels, and Railroads to Freedom: Juvenile Publishing, Progressive Education, and the Politicization of Childhood, 1919-1935,” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 28:3 (Fall 2003), 144-57.

“Civil Rights, History and the Left: Inventing the Juvenile Black Biography.” MELUS (Multi Ethnic Literature of the United States) 27:2 (Summer 2002), 65-93.

“Communist in a Coonskin Cap? Meridel Le Sueur’s Books for Children and the Reformulation of America’s Cold War Frontier Narrative.” The Lion and the Unicorn 21 (1997), 59-85.

“Left at Home in Iowa: ‘Progressive Regionalists’ and the WPA Guide to 1930s Iowa.” Annals of Iowa 56 (Summer 1997) 233-56. *Honorable Mention, Throne-Aldrich Award for best Annals article of 1997.

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages


External Links



  •   Map
  • Center for Women's & Gender Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    Burdine Hall 536
    2505 University Avenue, A4900
    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-471-5765