American Studies
American Studies

Joshua Kopin


Doctoral Student
Joshua Kopin

Contact

Interests


20th century cultural history, comics studies, affect studies, popular cultural studies, American religious history, political art, historiography, fame, men's style, writing pedagogy

Biography


Joshua Abraham Kopin is an MA student in American Studies who was born in Chicago and never got over it. In 2012, he received his BA in History and American Studies from Bard College, where his senior project "CHRIST COMES TO CHICAGO!: Billy Sunday In The Windy City, Spring 1918" won the Edmund Morgan Prize for best senior project in American Studies.

Josh came to Austin in 2013 after spending a year working for the Bard College Learning Commons, working as the tutor coordinator. His work is in part a continuation of what he was doing at Bard, but he has largely moved into comics studies. He's currently toiling away at an MA report on the football gag in Charles Schulz's Peanuts.

Josh has continued his work as a writing tutor, and is the editorial assistant for the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College and a contributor to the AMS department blog and twitter account. He also writes about comics on the internet.

 

Courses


AMS 311S • American Popular Culture

30130 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 436A

Description: Through the study of popular culture in the United States, it is possible to research historical questions of race, gender, sexuality, and disability, among others. This course considers various methods of studying American popular culture, with particular attention to questions of status and approaches that emphasize the senses (including, but not limited to, touch, taste, vision, hearing, smell) and the broader issue of feeling within the humanities. In order to deal with these questions, we will consider three historical periods: during and after the Civil War, the 1910s, and the 1980s, and match primary sources to secondary sources that both provide historical context and consider popular culture in less linear ways. In addition, students will work on a semester long research project, dealing with questions and materials of their choice using the methods and approaches studied over the course of the semester.
 

Possible texts:

Scott Bukatmen, The Poetics of Slumberland

Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering

Deborah Gould, Moving Politics

Ramzi Fawaz, The New Mutants

Tom Gunning, D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film

Lawrence Levine, Highbrow, Lowbrow

Mark M. Smith, The Smell of Battle, the Taste for War

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

50% Semester Long Research Project

20% Weekly Writing Assignments

20% Critical Sensorium Assignments

10% Participation 

AMS 311S • American Popular Culture

30835 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 436A

Description: Through the study of popular culture in the United States, it is possible to research historical questions of race, gender, sexuality, and disability, among others. This course considers various methods of studying American popular culture, with particular attention to questions of status and approaches that emphasize the senses (including, but not limited to, touch, taste, vision, hearing, smell) and the broader issue of feeling within the humanities. In order to deal with these questions, we will consider three historical periods: during and after the Civil War, the 1910s, and the 1980s, and match primary sources to secondary sources that both provide historical context and consider popular culture in less linear ways. In addition, students will work on a semester long research project, dealing with questions and materials of their choice using the methods and approaches studied over the course of the semester.
 

Possible texts:

Scott Bukatmen, The Poetics of Slumberland

Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering

Deborah Gould, Moving Politics

Ramzi Fawaz, The New Mutants

Tom Gunning, D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film

Lawrence Levine, Highbrow, Lowbrow

Mark M. Smith, The Smell of Battle, the Taste for War

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

50% Semester Long Research Project

20% Weekly Writing Assignments

20% Critical Sensorium Assignments

10% Participation 

AMS S310 • Intro To American Studies

80075 • Summer 2017
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM BUR 108
 

AMS 311S • Borrowing And American Cul

30670 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 436A

Description
We live in an age of stealing. With the advent of digital technologies and the internet, it is now easier than ever to make and share art—but it’s also easier to claim someone else’s work as your own, even to make money off of it. Still, borrowing has a long history in American culture. This course will consider that history, starting with the Declaration of Independence and continuing through to pop art, remixing, and internet memes. In order to think about these phenomena, we will investigate the past and future of American copyright law, popular and fine art forms that encourage borrowing or outright stealing, writers and poets who openly (or secretly) plagiarize the work of others, and what new possibilities exist for borrowing in the age of the internet. While acknowledging, as well as experiencing, the potential that these forms allow, we will also need to investigate the ways that borrowing may work differently for some groups than others—whom does borrowing hurt? How can we understand borrowing through the lenses of race, gender, and empire? What are the differences between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation?

 

Possible Texts:

Dan Clowes, Ghost World

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Susan Scafidi, Who Owns Culture?

Cory Doctorow, Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free

Kembrew McLeod, Cutting Across Media

Joseph Schloss, Making Beats

Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing

Eric Lott, Love and Theft

Philip J. Deloria, Playing Indian

Melani McAlister, Epic Encounters

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

20% Participation

25% Weekly Creative and Analytical Writing Assignments

10% Comparison Paper

10% Analysis Paper

35% Final Project, including annotated bibliography, presentation, and final paper

AMS 311S • Borrowing And American Cul

30550 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 436A

Description
We live in an age of stealing. With the advent of digital technologies and the internet, it is now easier than ever to make and share art—but it’s also easier to claim someone else’s work as your own, even to make money off of it. Still, borrowing has a long history in American culture. This course will consider that history, starting with the Declaration of Independence and continuing through to pop art, remixing, and internet memes. In order to think about these phenomena, we will investigate the past and future of American copyright law, popular and fine art forms that encourage borrowing or outright stealing, writers and poets who openly (or secretly) plagiarize the work of others, and what new possibilities exist for borrowing in the age of the internet. While acknowledging, as well as experiencing, the potential that these forms allow, we will also need to investigate the ways that borrowing may work differently for some groups than others—whom does borrowing hurt? How can we understand borrowing through the lenses of race, gender, and empire? What are the differences between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation?

 

Possible Texts:

Dan Clowes, Ghost World

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Susan Scafidi, Who Owns Culture?

Cory Doctorow, Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free

Kembrew McLeod, Cutting Across Media

Joseph Schloss, Making Beats

Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing

Eric Lott, Love and Theft

Philip J. Deloria, Playing Indian

Melani McAlister, Epic Encounters

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

20% Participation

25% Weekly Creative and Analytical Writing Assignments

10% Comparison Paper

10% Analysis Paper

35% Final Project, including annotated bibliography, presentation, and final paper

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