American Studies
American Studies

Judson Barber


Doctoral Student
Judson Barber

Contact

  • Office: BUR 404
  • Office Hours: Spring 2020: Wednesday, 12:30 -2:00

Interests


Public memory, prison and carceral studies, cultural, feminist, and affective geographies, architecture and urban design, postmodernism, hyperreality, amusement, leisure, and cultures of American recreation.

Biography


Judson was born and raised in Southern California where he completed his BA and MA degrees in American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. He is a third year PhD student and in Spring 2019 completed his oral exams in the fields of American Civilization, Cultural & Human Geography, and Race, Political Economy, and the Carceral State. His primary research interests revolve around understanding cultural processes of knowledge construction in the United States, with a specific focus on the social, economic, and political role and work of the prison both in lived experience and cultural memory. His dissertation will examine the physical, political, and psychic geographies of prisons in American culture.

Beyond the carceral state, his interests include vice and vice industries, neoliberalism, the American West, tourism, spectator sports, and the role of luck in American culture. He has written and presented papers on subjects that include the electric chair in popular imagination, sabermetrics, zombies in American popular culture, collective memory of Alcatraz Island, dark tourism in the American West, the cultural work of prisons in contemporary media, and the appeal of prison tourism in the United States.

 

Courses


AMS 311S • Film As Cultural Document-Wb

30505 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet
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Please check back for updates.

AMS 311S • Vice In American Culture

31085 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM BUR 436A
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Please check back for updates.

AMS 311S • Vice In American Culture

30519 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 436A
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The regulation or eradication of certain individual actions has been an issue of primary importance to American society since the earliest colonial arrivals in the 17th century. Though the boundaries of what behaviors have been considered “vices” continually changes over time, responses to those behaviors provide an insightful glimpse into the priorities of American culture as it has evolved from the 1620s to the present. In this course we will examine the interplay between vices, their prohibition, and their consequences—looking across an array of public debates, legislation, and popular culture to explore issues including (but not limited to) idleness, gambling, drug use, alcohol consumption, and sexuality. In addition to relying upon both primary and secondary historical texts, we will look to popular media such as film, television, literature, memoir, and geography to understand the culture of control that pervades across traditional divisions of race, class, and gender in America. By the end of this course, students will understand how culture and policy inform one another and how that cyclical relationship often targets the behaviors of raced and classed populations. They will be able to critically analyze primary sources and construct original arguments about vices, their function, and status as a focal point in constructing American culture and society. Students will complete the course well-equipped to analyze the social world and produce historically grounded and logically sound arguments about morality, behavior, propriety, and culture as they change over time.

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