American Studies
American Studies

AMS F370 • US Masculinities

78410 • Beasley, Alex
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM BIO 301
IIWr (also listed as WGS F335)
show description

What does it mean to be a man? Hiding in plain sight, the idea of masculinity is often taken for granted in American culture. Whereas femininity is discussed at length in the media and popular culture—through national debates about “leaning in,” for instance, or girls’ and women’s struggles with body image— masculinity is rarely given the same attention. Yet masculinity, like femininity, is constructed by cultural ideas about sex, gender, class, and race and has changed dramatically over time. Moreover, ideas about manhood and masculinity have shaped American political, economic, and cultural history in profound ways.

This course explores varied ideas about masculinity in the U.S. from the nineteenth century through the present. We will focus on four primary questions: How have the meanings of manhood changed over time? How have ideas about manhood and manliness affected the history of work in the U.S.? How have ideas about masculinity impacted U.S. international relations? And how do ideas of masculinity intersect with ideas about race, class, and sexuality? Through these questions, we will consider how masculinity relates to ideas about violence and self-sufficiency. We will engage with interdisciplinary literature in history, American Studies, urban studies, gender studies, and anthropology to answer these questions.

AMS S321 • Latinx Legend Tripping

78460 • Gonzalez-Martin, Rachel
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM BIO 301
CDWr (also listed as E S370W, MAS S374, WGS S340)
show description

Legend tripping is the process by which individuals and groups visit and/or recreate legendary contexts, with the hopes of facilitating an encounter with the strange. This course will focus on narrative folklore and practice from diverse traditions across the U.S. based Latinx diaspora.  Legends, or folk narratives told as true share interpretations of the strange in everyday social life of tellers and audiences alike. Shared amongst peers and across generations, legends within Latinx communities have been used to influence the behaviors and beliefs of young women. Through reading, collecting, and analyzing legend texts such as La Llorona, Dancing with the Devil, La Lechuza among other stories of supernatural encounters as well as interrogating key figures, such as brujas, curanderas, hechiceras, students will engage with these texts the instrumentalization of a community logic of supernatural belief that impact the development of gender and sexuality identities across US Latinx communities. We will draw on materials from the fields of Folklore, Anthropology, Latina/o Studies, History and American Studies.

AMS S321 • Religion And Food

78459 • Seales, Chad
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 302
(also listed as R S S373)
show description

This course examines the material relationships between religion and food, comparing the ritual functions of food in religious traditions and the collective constructions of religious identities in traditional foodways.  Engaging methodological approaches in Religious Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, and Ritual Studies, the course will track key themes of religious, ethnic, and national identity, immigration and acculturation, and industrialization and corporatism, through case studies of food production, distribution, and consumption within and across the geographic regions of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.