American Studies (AMST)

* AMST 012a / HIST 012a, Politics and Society in the United States after World War IIJennifer Klein

Introduction to American political and social issues from the 1940s to the present, including political economy, civil rights, class politics, and gender roles. Legacies of the New Deal as they played out after World War II; the origins, agenda, and ramifications of the Cold War; postwar suburbanization and its racial dimensions; migration and immigration; cultural changes; social movements of the Right and Left; Reaganism and its legacies; the United States and the global economy. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 019b / HIST 018b, Commodities as U.S. HistoryMatthew Jacobson

American social, cultural, and political history introduced through study of the production, distribution, and consumption of common commodities. Topics include political economy, slavery, industrialization, labor, the rise of the corporation, the growth of the administrative and regulatory state, geopolitics, foreign policy, and cultural change. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  RP
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 031a / WGSS 031a, LGBTQ Spaces and PlacesTerrell Herring

Overview of LGBTQ cultures and their relation to geography in literature, history, film, visual culture, and ethnography. Discussion topics include the historical emergence of urban communities; their tensions and intersections with rural locales; race, sexuality, gender, and suburbanization; and artistic visions of queer and trans places within the city and without. Emphasis is on the wide variety of U.S. metropolitan environments and regions, including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, the Deep South, Appalachia, New England, and the Pacific Northwest. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 032a / WGSS 036a, Gender, Sexuality, and U.S. EmpireTalya Zemach-Bersin

This course explores the cultural history of America’s relationship to the world across the long twentieth century with particular attention to the significance of gender, sexuality, and race. We locate U.S. culture and politics within an international dynamic, exposing the interrelatedness of domestic and foreign affairs. While exploring specific geopolitical events like the Spanish-American War, World War I and II, and the Cold War, this course emphasizes the political importance of culture and ideology rather than offering a formal overview of U.S. foreign policy. How have Americans across the twentieth century drawn from ideas about gender to understand their country’s relationship to the wider world? In what ways have gendered ideologies and gendered approaches to politics shaped America’s performance on the world’s stage? How have geopolitical events impacted the construction of race and gender on the home front? In the most general sense, this course is designed to encourage students to understand American cultural and gender history as the product of America’s engagement with the world. In so doing, we explore the rise of U.S. global power as an enterprise deeply related to conceptions of race, sexuality, and gender. We also examine films, political speeches, visual culture, music, and popular culture. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

* AMST 060a / AFAM 060a / HIST 016a, Slavery in the ArchivesEdward Rugemer

This first-year seminar explores the significance of racial slavery in the history of the Americas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We read the work of historians and we explore archival approaches to the study of history. Taught in the Beinecke Library with the assistance of curators and librarians, each week is organized around an archival collection that sheds light on the history of slavery. The course also includes visits to the Department of Manuscripts and Archives in the Sterling Library, the British Art Center, and the Yale University Art Gallery.  Each student writes a research paper grounded in archival research in one of the Yale Libraries. Topics include slavery and slaveholding, the transatlantic slave trade, resistance to slavery, the abolitionist movement, the coming of the American Civil War, the process of emancipation, and post-emancipation experiences.  Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* AMST 070b / ENGL 067b / HUMS 067b, The Road in Literature and FilmSteven Shoemaker

Stories about journeys are at the heart of some of the most powerful works of art and literature that humankind has produced, from the time of Homer’s Odyssey onward, and the trope of the journey has played an especially prominent role in American literature and film. In this course, we look at modern and contemporary examples of books and films that explore “the road” both as a path to freedom and discovery and as a site of hardship and precarity. Along the way, we examine quests for personal enlightenment, flights from economic and political oppression, and attempts to locate some “elsewhere” that’s more exciting than home. Works of literature are likely to include Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road,” Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Muriel Rukeyser’s U.S. 1, Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Films are likely to include Sullivan’s Travels, It Happened One Night, Easy Rider, Thelma and Louise, and Into the Wild.  WR, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

AMST 115a / EDST 110a / SOCY 112a, Foundations in Education StudiesStaff

Introduction to key issues and debates in the U.S. public education system. Focus on the nexus of education practice, policy, and research. Social, scientific, economic, and political forces that shape approaches to schooling and education reform. Theoretical and practical perspectives from practitioners, policymakers, and scholars.  SO0 Course cr

AMST 116b / RLST 115b, How to Build an American ReligionKathryn Lofton

How communities can be organized through code, charisma, ritual, and cosmology. Topics include strategies for concretizing utopia and establishing communal principles, expanding audiences, and specifying creed. This course serves as an introduction to religion through theoretical readings and specific examples drawn from the transnational American scene, past and present. Discussion of particular leaders, sects, practices, and media will offer insights into how ideas organize societies and individuals establish themselves as icons. Students adapt strategies taught in the course in order to practice their own capacity to foster social movements, develop and critique brands, and consider the relationship between religion, politics, and economy.  HU0 Course cr
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

AMST 133b / ER&M 187b / HIST 107b, Introduction to American Indian HistoryNed Blackhawk

Survey of American Indian history, beginning with creation traditions and migration theories and continuing to the present day. Focus on American Indian nations whose homelands are located within the contemporary United States. Complexity and change within American Indian societies, with emphasis on creative adaptations to changing historical circumstances.  HU0 Course cr
TTh 10:30am-11:20am

AMST 160a / AFAM 160a / AFST 184a / HIST 184a, The Rise and Fall of Atlantic SlaveryStaff

The history of peoples of African descent throughout the Americas, from the first African American societies of the sixteenth century through the century-long process of emancipation.  HU0 Course cr

AMST 162b / AFAM 162b / HIST 187b, African American History from Emancipation to the PresentElizabeth Hinton

An examination of the African American experience since 1861. Meanings of freedom and citizenship are distilled through appraisal of race and class formations, the processes and effects of cultural consumption, and the grand narrative of the civil rights movement.  WR, HU0 Course cr

AMST 197a / ARCH 280a / HSAR 219a / URBN 280a, American Architecture and UrbanismElihu Rubin

Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture.  HU0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:25pm

AMST 199b / HIST 165b, The American CenturyBeverly Gage

United States politics, political thought, and social movements in the 20th century. Pivotal elections and political figures (Wilson, Roosevelt, Nixon, Reagan) as well as politics from below (civil rights, labor, women's activism). Emphasis on political ideas such as liberalism, conservatism, and radicalism, and on the intersection between domestic and foreign affairs. Primary research in Yale archival collections. Students who have already completed HIST 136J must have the instructor's permission to enroll in this course, and will perform alternate readings during some weeks.  HU0 Course cr
TTh 10:30am-11:20am

AMST 215a / HIST 485a / HSHM 217a / HUMS 219a, Biomedical Futures and Michael Crichton's MonstersStaff

What forms of life have been produced by modern science? The literal life-changing technologies that began to emerge after the Second World War also provoked new anxieties. They expressed themselves in the speculative fiction of Michael Crichton in terms of monsters: the virus in The Andromeda Strain, the androids in Westworld, the velociraptors of Jurassic Park, and even the patients maimed by gunshot wounds in ER. Crichton wrote thrilling stories that also asked his readers to consider what monsters humans could make if they didn’t stop to consider whether or not they should. This course examines the emergence of modern life science to consider what it would take to produce more life-sustaining futures.  HU, SO0 Course cr

* AMST 218b / WGSS 218b, Sex, Gender, and American ModernsTerrell Herring

What did being “modern” mean to those whose marginalized aesthetics negotiated sexual, racial, regional, national, and gender norms in the first half of the twentieth-century United States? This course functions as an intensive immersion into the creeds and concerns of recent scholarship regarding modes of U.S. modernity as the field overlaps with current forays into sexuality and gender studies. Via painting, photography, print culture, a “homosexual comedy,” oral history and other resources, we discuss the popularization of heteronormativity in US sex manuals; the emergence of LGBTQ subcultures within and without urban East Coast environments; queer feminist agency through experimental photography in Provincetown; slumming and sensationalism in the Chicago Loop; and modern crip intimacies in Connecticut. Students meet the artists of the PaJaMa collective; James Weldon Johnson’s Ex-Colored Man; avant-garde Pacific Rim poets such as José Garcia Villa; a Nepali American surrealist; and a bohemian of the Harlem Renaissance whose drawings are held at the Beinecke.    HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 225a / AFAM 205a / ER&M 289a, Writing American Studies: Food as Story & Critical LensAlison Kibbe

This writing seminar examines food as an entry to the interdisciplinary approaches of American Studies. We explore how food can help us think critically about our world, as well as how we can write critically about food. Food serves as a useful entry point to interdisciplinary American and Ethnic Studies because centering food requires that we think across history, cultural studies, anthropology, science, ecology, aesthetics, embodiment, and more. Through food studies we gain a unique understanding of the peoples, cultures, plants, animals, mobilities, and flavors that shape societies, communities, and individuals. With a focus on Caribbean, Black, Latinx, and indigenous perspectives, we use critical food studies to examine questions about place, history, racial formations, migration, and above all, different approaches to writing, drafting, editing, and re-writing.  WR
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

AMST 228a / GLBL 201a / HIST 128a, Origins of U.S. Global PowerStaff

This course examines the causes and the consequences of American global power in the “long 20th century,” peeking back briefly into the 19th century as well as forward into the present one. The focus is on foreign relations, which includes but is not limited to foreign policy; indeed, America’s global role was rooted as much in its economic and cultural power as it was in diplomacy and military strength. We study events like wars, crises, treaties, and summits—but also trade shows and movie openings. Our principal subjects include plenty of State Department officials, but also missionaries, business people, and journalists. We pay close attention also to conceptions of American power; how did observers in and beyond the United States understand the nature, origins, and operations of American power?  HU0 Course cr

* AMST 233a / ER&M 286a / WGSS 232a, Porvida: Latinx Queer Trans LifeDeb Vargas

This course provides an introduction to Latinx queer trans* studies. We approach the field of Latinx queer trans* studies as an ongoing political project that emerges from social justice activism, gay/lesbian/queer/trans studies, critical race feminism, cultural practitioners, among other work. We pay particular attention to the keywords “trans,” “queer,” “Chicanx,” and “Latinx” by placing them in productive tension with each other through varied critical genealogies.    HU, SO
T 9:25am-11:15am

AMST 234b / ER&M 243b / HIST 188b / RLST 342b, Spiritual But Not ReligiousStaff

Study of the historical and contemporary “unchurching” trends in American religious life in a comparative perspective and across different scales of analysis in order to think about the relationship between spirituality, formal religion, secular psychology and the self-help industry.  HU, SO0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

AMST 236b / EVST 318b / HIST 199b / HSHM 207b, American Energy HistoryPaul Sabin

The history of energy in the United States from early hydropower and coal to present-day hydraulic fracturing, deepwater oil, wind, and solar. Topics include energy transitions and technological change; energy and democracy; environmental justice and public health; corporate power and monopoly control; electricity and popular culture; labor struggles; the global quest for oil; changing national energy policies; the climate crisis.  WR, HU0 Course cr
MW 11:35am-12:25pm

AMST 238a / AFAM 192a / AFST 238a / ER&M 238a, Third World StudiesStaff

Introduction to the historical and contemporary theories and articulations of Third World studies (comparative ethnic studies) as an academic field and practice. Consideration of subject matters; methodologies and theories; literatures; and practitioners and institutional arrangements.  SO0 Course cr

* AMST 243a / AFAM 243a / MUSI 450a, Black Arts Criticism: Intellectual Life of Black Culture from W.E.B. DuBois to the 21st CenturyDaphne Brooks

This course traces the birth and evolution of Black arts writing and criticism−its style and content, its major themes and groundbreaking practices−from the late nineteenth century through the 2020s. From the innovations of W.E.B. DuBois, Pauline Hopkins, and postbellum Black arts journalists to the breakthroughs of Harlem Renaissance heavyweights (Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and others), from the jazz experimentalism of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray to the revolutionary criticism of Amiri Baraka, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Phyl Garland and others, this class explores the intellectual work of pioneering writers who produced radical knowledge about Black culture. Its second half turns to the late twentieth and twenty-first century criticism of legendary arts journalists, scholars and critics: Toni Morrison, Thulani Davis, Margo Jefferson, Hilton Als, Greg Tate, Farah J. Griffin, Joan Morgan, Danyel Smith, Wesley Morris, Hanif Abdurraqib, and others. Emphasis will be placed on music, literary, film, and theater/performance arts writing. Prerequisite: one or more AFAM courses.  HURP
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 245a / ENGL 246a / PLSC 247a, The Media and DemocracyJoanne Lipman

In an era of "fake news," when trust in mainstream media is declining, social platforms are enabling the spread of misinformation, and new technologies are transforming the way we consume news, how do journalists hold power to account? What is the media’s role in promoting and protecting democracy? Students explore topics including objectivity versus advocacy and hate speech versus First Amendment speech protections. Case studies will span from 19th century yellow journalism to the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and the advent of AI journalism.   SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

AMST 250a / ER&M 251 / FILM 250a / GLBL 249a, Introduction to Critical Data StudiesStaff

“Big data” has become a buzzword these days—but what is data? This course introduces the study of data and data technologies and techniques through a critical, anti-colonial lens with profound attention to the power dynamics that constitute what is today called “data.” From the seemingly opaque play of algorithms to artificial intelligence and surveillance systems, to digital media and the culture industries, various systems rely on the storage, transaction, classification, and exploitation of datasets. Data is, in short, both a medium that relies on and reconfigures power. This class discusses methods for the study of data technologies and techniques from multiple interdisciplinary humanities and social science perspectives. Through academic scholarship as well as art and data visualizations, students interrogate: How is data constituted through its entanglements with power? What is the relationship between data and social and material inequality? What methods can we use to study the making of data? How can we envision decolonial data technologies and techniques?  HU, SO0 Course cr

* AMST 258a / ER&M 258a / EVST 258a, Wilderness in the North American Imagination: Landscapes of the US Nuclear-Industrial ComplexCharlotte Hecht

Since the mid-twentieth century, the drive for nuclear power—in the form of weapons and energy—has irreversibly shaped the landscapes of the North American continent, and the world. The activities of the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium mining and milling, weapons testing and production, and radioactive waste dumping) have reached every state in the country, often in devastating and uneven ways. Today, debates about nuclear weapons and the benefits of nuclear power are at the forefront of contemporary discourse. This course contextualizes these impacts and debates in the long history of post-war industrialization and militarization, a history that begins with 19th century settler-colonial conceptions of “wilderness.” Throughout the course, we investigate how cultural imaginaries of wilderness (and ideas about nature, landscape, space, and environment) are deeply related to the uneven geographies of the nuclear industrial complex, and the intersections of US imperialism, militarism, extractive capitalism, and environmental racism. Alongside this, we consider how artists, activists, and scholars are working to theorize, reframe, and reimagine the legacies of the nuclear industry.   HU
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 263a / AFAM 261a / EDST 263a, Place, Race, and Memory in SchoolsErrol Saunders

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and widespread, multiracial protests calling for racial justice across the United States, there is a renewed interest in the roles that schools play in perpetuating racial disparities in American society and the opportunities that education writ large might provide for remedying them. As places, schools both shape and are profoundly shaped by the built environment and the everyday experiences of the people that interact with them. Teachers, administrators, students, and parents are impacted by the racialized memories to explain the past, justify the present, and to move them to action for the future. These individual and collective memories of who and where they are, and the traumas, successes, failures, and accomplishments that they have with regard to school and education are essential to understanding how schools and school reforms work. Grounded in four different geographies, this course examines how the interrelationships of place, race, and memory are implicated in reforms of preK-12 schools in the United States. The course uses an interdisciplinary approach to study these phenomena, borrowing from commensurate frameworks in sociology, anthropology, political science, and memory studies with the goal of examining multiple angles and perspectives on a given issue. EDST 110 recommended.  SO
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

AMST 272a / ER&M 282a / HIST 183a / WGSS 272a, Asian American History, 1800 to the PresentStaff

An introduction to the history of East, South, and Southeast Asian migrations and settlement to the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. Major themes include labor migration, community formation, U.S. imperialism, legal exclusion, racial segregation, gender and sexuality, cultural representations, and political resistance.  HU0 Course cr

* AMST 281b / ENGL 278b, Antebellum American LiteratureMichael Warner

Introduction to writing from the period leading up to and through the Civil War. The growth of African American writing in an antislavery context; the national book market and its association with national culture; emergence of a language of environment; romantic ecology and American pastoral; the "ecological Indian"; evangelicalism and the secular; sentimentalism and gender; the emergence of sexuality; poetics.  WR, HU

* AMST 305b / EP&E 247b / ER&M 330b / FILM 298b / SAST 262b, Digital WarMadiha Tahir

From drones and autonomous robots to algorithmic warfare, virtual war gaming, and data mining, digital war has become a key pressing issue of our times and an emerging field of study. This course provides a critical overview of digital war, understood as the relationship between war and digital technologies. Modern warfare has been shaped by digital technologies, but the latter have also been conditioned through modern conflict: DARPA (the research arm of the US Department of Defense), for instance, has innovated aspects of everything from GPS, to stealth technology, personal computing, and the Internet. Shifting beyond a sole focus on technology and its makers, this class situates the historical antecedents and present of digital war within colonialism and imperialism. We will investigate the entanglements between technology, empire, and war, and examine how digital war—also sometimes understood as virtual or remote war—has both shaped the lives of the targeted and been conditioned by imperial ventures. We will consider visual media, fiction, art, and other works alongside scholarly texts to develop a multidiscpinary perspective on the past, present, and future of digital war. none  HU, SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 307b / ER&M 298b / HIST 117b / LITR 375b / MGRK 306b, The Greek Diaspora in the United StatesMaria Kaliambou

The seminar explores the history and culture of the Greek diasporic community in the United States from the end of the 19th century to the present. The Greek American experience is embedded in the larger discussion of ethnic histories that construct modern America. The seminar examines important facets of immigration history, such as community formation, institutions and associations, professional occupations, and civic engagement. It pays attention to the everyday lives of the Greek Americans as demonstrated in religious, educational, and family cultural practices. It concludes by exploring the artistic expressions of Greek immigrants as manifested in literature, music, and film production. The instructor provides a variety of primary sources (archival records, business catalogs, community albums, personal narratives, letters, audiovisual material, etc.). All primary and secondary sources are in English; however, students are encouraged to read available material in the original language.  WR, HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 308a / ENGL 335a / HUMS 275a, Literatures of the PlagueJames Berger

In a new era of pandemic, we have seen how widespread medical crisis has profound effects on individual life and consciousness, and on political and economic institutions and practices. Our material and psychic supply chains grow tenuous. All of life changes even as we try to preserve what we deem most valuable. We must rethink what we consider to be “essential.” Yet this is far from being a new condition. Infectious disease has been part of the human social world probably since the beginnings of urban life. The Bible describes plagues sent by God as punishment. The earliest historical depiction was by Thucydides shortly after the plague in Athens in 430 BCE. At each occasion, people have tried to witness and to understand these “visitations,” as Daniel Defoe called them. The Plague is always a medical, political, economic and an interpretive crisis. It is also a moral crisis, as people must not only try to understand but also determine how to act. This course studies accounts of pandemics, from Thucydides in Athens up to our ongoing Coronavirus outbreaks. We trace the histories of understanding that accompanied pandemics: religious, scientific, philosophical, ethical, literary. It seems to be the case that these vast, horrifying penetrations of death into the fabric of life have inspired some of our fragile and resilient species’ most strange and profound meditations.
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 309b / AFAM 259b / EDST 255b, Education and EmpireTalya Zemach-Bersin

This course offers an introduction to the transnational history of education in relation to the historical development of the U.S. empire both at home and abroad. By bringing together topics often approached separately—immigration, education, race, colonialism, and the history of U.S. empire—we interrogate the ways that education has been mobilized to deploy power: controlling knowledge, categorizing and policing differences, administering unequal paths to citizenship/belonging, forcing assimilation, promoting socio-economic divides, and asserting discipline and control. EDST 110 recommended.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 319a / ENGL 327a, The Modernist Novel in the 1920sJoe Cleary

Many of the classics of modernist fiction were published between 1920 and 1930. These novels did not come into the world as “modernist”; that term was later conferred on narrative experiments often considered bizarre at the time. As writers, the “modernists” did not conform to pre-existing social conceptions of “the writer” nor work with established systems of narrative genres; rather, they tried to remake the novel as form and bend it to new purposes. This course invites students to consider diverse morphologies of the Anglophone modernist novel in this decade and to reflect on its consequences for later developments in twentieth-century fiction. The seminar encourages careful analyses of individual texts but engages also with literary markets, patronage systems, changing world literary systems, the rise of cinema and mass and consumer cultures, and later Cold War constructions of the ideology of modernism.  WR, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 326b / AFAM 349b / HIST 115Jb / WGSS 388b, Civil Rights and Women's LiberationCrystal Feimster

The dynamic relationship between the civil rights movement and the women's liberation movement from 1940 to the present. When and how the two movements overlapped, intersected, and diverged. The variety of ways in which African Americans and women campaigned for equal rights. Topics include World War II, freedom summer, black power, the Equal Rights Amendment, feminism, abortion, affirmative action, and gay rights.  HU

* AMST 328a / ER&M 357a / HIST 112a / HUMS 418a, "None Dare Call It Conspiracy:" Paranoia and Conspiracy Theories in 20th and 21st C. AmericaStaff

In this course we examine the development and growth of conspiracy theories in American politics and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. We look at texts from a variety of different analytical and political traditions to develop an understanding of how and why conspiracy theories develop, their structural dynamics, and how they function as a narrative. We examine a variety of different conspiracy theories and conspiratorial groups from across the political spectrum, but we pay particular attention to anti-Semitism as a foundational form of conspiracy theorizing, as well as the particular role of conspiracy theories in far-right politics, ranging from the John Birch Society in the 1960s to the Tea Party, QAnon, and beyond in the 21st century. We also look at how real conspiracies shape and reinforce conspiracy theorizing as a mode of thought, and formulate ethical answers on how to address conspiracy as a mode of politics.  HU
MW 9am-10:15am

* AMST 330b / ENGL 236b, Dystopic and Utopian FictionsJames Berger

Attempts since the late nineteenth century to imagine, in literature, cinema, and social theory, a world different from the existing world. The merging of political critique with desire and anxiety; the nature and effects of social power; forms of authority, submission, and resistance.  HU
T 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 332b / HSAR 410b, Humbugs and Visionaries: American Artists and Writers Before the Civil WarStaff

This course examines American literature and visual culture in the years before the Civil War, focusing on the ways that writers and artists not only anticipated but helped construct the modern era. We look in particular at outliers, prophets and self-promoters, from the radical Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet to popular entertainers like P. T. Barnum. Topics include: visuality and the public sphere; landscape and politics; genre painting and hegemony; race and identity; domesticity and sentimentalism.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 336a / WGSS 335a, LGBTQ Life SpansTerrell Herring

Interdisciplinary survey of LGBTQ life spans in the United States concentrating primarily on later life. Special attention paid to topics such as disability, aging, and ageism; queer and trans creative aging; longevity and life expectancy during the AIDS epidemic; intergenerational intimacy; age and activism; critiques of optimal aging; and the development of LGBTQ senior centers and affordable senior housing. We explore these topics across multiple contemporary genres: documentary film (The Joneses), graphic memoir (Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home), poetry (Essex Hemphill’s “Vital Signs”), fabulation (Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments), and oral history. We also review archival documents of later LGBTQ lives—ordinary and iconic—held at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library as well as the Lesbian Herstory Archives.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* AMST 345a / ER&M 409a / WGSS 408a, Latinx EthnographyAna Ramos-Zayas

Consideration of ethnography within the genealogy and intellectual traditions of Latinx Studies. Topics include: questions of knowledge production and epistemological traditions in Latin America and U.S. Latino communities; conceptions of migration, transnationalism, and space; perspectives on “(il)legality” and criminalization; labor, wealth, and class identities; contextual understandings of gender and sexuality; theorizations of affect and intimate lives; and the politics of race and inequality under white liberalism and conservatism in the United States.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 346a / ENGL 235a / HUMS 252a, Poetry and ObjectsKarin Roffman

This course on 20th and 21st century poetry studies the non-symbolic use of familiar objects in poems. We meet alternating weeks in the Beinecke library archives and the Yale Art Gallery objects study classroom to discover literary, material, and biographical histories of poems and objects. Additionally, there are scheduled readings and discussions with contemporary poets. Assignments include both analytical essays and the creation of online exhibitions.  WR, HU
Th 12pm-3pm

* AMST 350a / ER&M 319a / SAST 475a / THST 350a, Drama in Diaspora: South Asian American Theater and PerformanceShilarna Stokes

South Asian Americans have appeared on U.S. stages since the late nineteenth century, yet only in the last quarter century have plays and performances by South Asian Americans begun to dismantle dominant cultural representations of South Asian and South Asian American communities and to imagine new ways of belonging. This seminar introduces you to contemporary works of performance (plays, stand-up sets, multimedia events) written and created by U.S.-based artists of South Asian descent as well as artists of the South Asian diaspora whose works have had an impact on U.S. audiences. With awareness that the South Asian American diaspora comprises multiple, contested, and contingent identities, we investigate how artists have worked to manifest complex representations of South Asian Americans onstage, challenge institutional and professional norms, and navigate the perils and pleasures of becoming visible. No prior experience with or study of theater/performance required. Students in all years and majors welcome.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 353b / HIST 196Jb, 21st-Century US History: The First DecadeJoanne Meyerowitz

Students conduct collaborative primary source research on the first ten years of the 21st century. Topics include September 11th, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, the financial crisis of 2008, the election of Barack Obama, and battles over domestic surveillance, immigration, policing, gun control, same-sex marriage, and reproductive rights.   WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 360a / ANTH 371a, Inequality in the Anthropocene: Thinking the UnthinkableKathryn Dudley and Kate McNally

This course examines relationships between social inequality and anthropogenic climate change through an interdisciplinary ethnographic lens. Drawing on visual, sonic, and literary forms, we explore diverse modes of inquiry that strive to give analytical form and feeling to the unthinkable enormity of the geological epoch we're in. Final projects involve creative, artistic, multimedia field research.        SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 361a / ER&M 322a, Comparative ColonialismsLisa Lowe

In this interdisciplinary seminar, students examine several historical and ongoing modes of colonialism—settler colonialism, slavery, and overseas empire, as well as their various contestations—approaching the study through readings in history, anthropology, political economy, literature, arts, and other materials. We discuss questions such as: In what ways are settler colonialism, slavery, and empire independent, and in what ways do they articulate with one another? How have colonialisms been integral to the emergence of the modern U.S. nation-state and economy? How does one read the national archive and engage the epistemology of evidence? What are the roles of cultural practices, narrative, and visual arts in countering colonial power?  HU, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

AMST 364b / EVST 366b / FILM 423b, Documentary and the EnvironmentCharles Musser

Survey of documentaries about environmental issues, with a focus on Darwin's Nightmare (2004), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Food, Inc. (2009), GasLand (2010), and related films. Brief historical overview, from early films such as The River (1937) to the proliferation of environmental film festivals.  HURP
T 3:30pm-5:20pm, M 7pm-10pm

* AMST 365b / EP&E 399b / ER&M 295b / FILM 268b, Platforms and Cultural ProductionJulian Posada

Platforms—digital infrastructures that serve as intermediaries between end-users and complementors—have emerged in various cultural and economic settings, from social media (Instagram), and video streaming (YouTube), to digital labor (Uber), and e-commerce (Amazon). This seminar provides a multidisciplinary lens to study platforms as hybrids of firms and multi-sided markets with unique history, governance, and infrastructures. The thematic sessions of this course discuss how platforms have transformed cultural production and connectivity, labor, creativity, and democracy by focusing on comparative cases from the United States and abroad. The seminar provides a space for broader discussions on contemporary capitalism and cultural production around topics such as inequality, surveillance, decentralization, and ethics. Students are encouraged to bring examples and case studies from their personal experiences.  Students previously enrolled in AMST 268 may not enroll in this course.  HU, SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 368a / ER&M 224a, Marxism and Social Movements in the Nineteenth CenturyMichael Denning

The history and theory of the socialist and Marxist traditions from their beginnings in the early nineteenth century to the world upheavals of 1917–19. Relations to labor, feminist, abolitionist, and anticolonial movements.
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* AMST 382b / WGSS 372b, Theory and Politics of Sexual ConsentJoseph Fischel

Political, legal, and feminist theory and critiques of the concept of sexual consent. Topics such as sex work, nonnormative sex, and sex across age differences explored through film, autobiography, literature, queer commentary, and legal theory. U.S. and Connecticut legal cases regarding sexual violence and assault.  SORP
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 398a / ER&M 308a / HIST 158, American Indian Law and PolicyNed Blackhawk

Survey of the origins, history, and legacies of federal Indian law and policy during two hundred years of United States history. The evolution of U.S. constitutional law and political achievements of American Indian communities over the past four decades.  WR, HU
T 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 403b, Introduction to Public HumanitiesStaff

Introduction to the various media, topics, debates, and issues framing public humanities. The relationship between knowledge produced in the university and the circulation of ideas among a broader public, including modes of inquiry, interpretation, and presentation. Public history, museum studies, oral and community history, public art, documentary film and photography, public writing and educational outreach, and the socially conscious performing arts.  HU

* AMST 406b / ENGL 326b, The Spectacle of DisabilityJames Berger

Examination of how people with disabilities are represented in U.S. literature and culture. Ways in which these representations, along with the material realities of disabled people, frame society's understanding of disability; the consequences of such formulations. Various media, including fiction, nonfiction, film, television, and memoirs, viewed through a wide range of analytical lenses.  WR, HURP
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 422a / ER&M 435a / HIST 151Ja, Writing Tribal HistoriesNed Blackhawk

Historical overview of American Indian tribal communities, particularly since the creation of the United States. Challenges of working with oral histories, government documents, and missionary records.  WR, HU
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 430a / ANTH 430a / ER&M 432a / HIST 123a, Muslims in the United StatesZareena Grewal

Since 9/11, cases of what has been termed “home-grown terrorism” have cemented the fear that “bad” Islam is not just something that exists far away, in distant lands. As a result, there has been an urgent interest to understand who American Muslims are by officials, experts, journalists, and the public. Although Muslims have been part of America’s story from its founding, Muslims have alternated from an invisible minority to the source of national moral panics, capturing national attention during political crises, as a cultural threat or even a potential fifth column. Today the stakes are high to understand what kinds of meanings and attachments connect Muslims in America to the Muslim world and to the US as a nation. Over the course of the semester, students grapple with how to define and apply the slippery concept of diaspora to different dispersed Muslim populations in the US, including racial and ethnic diasporas, trading diasporas, political diasporas, and others. By focusing on a range of communities-in-motion and a diverse set of cultural texts, students explore the ways mobility, loss, and communal identity are conceptualized by immigrants, expatriates, refugees, guest-workers, religious seekers, and exiles. To this end, we read histories, ethnographies, essays, policy papers, novels, poetry, memoirs; we watch documentary and fictional films; we listen to music, speeches, spoken word performances, and prayers. Our aim is to deepen our understanding of the multiple meanings and conceptual limits of homeland and diaspora for Muslims in America, particularly in the Age of Terror.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 438a / AFAM 352a / ER&M 291a / LITR 295a / WGSS 343a, Caribbean Diasporic LiteratureFadila Habchi

An examination of contemporary literature written by Caribbean writers who have migrated to, or who journey between, different countries around the Atlantic rim. Focus on literature written in English in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, both fiction and nonfiction. Writers include Caryl Phillips, Nalo Hopkinson, and Jamaica Kincaid.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 439a / ER&M 439a, Fruits of EmpireGary Okihiro

Readings, discussions, and research on imperialism and "green gold" and their consequences for the imperial powers and their colonies and neo-colonies. Spatially conceived as a world-system that enmeshes the planet and as earth's latitudes that divide the temperate from the tropical zones, imperialism as discourse and material relations is this seminar's focus together with its implantations—an empire of plants. Vast plantations of sugar, cotton, tea, coffee, bananas, and pineapples occupy land cultivated by native and migrant workers, and their fruits move from the tropical to the temperate zones, impoverishing the periphery while profiting the core. Fruits of Empire, thus, implicates power and the social formation of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation.  HU, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 443b / AFAM 426b / ENGL 381b, Toni Morrison & the Matter of Black LifeDaphne Brooks

This seminar examines key texts in the Toni Morrison canon that resonate as literary masterworks, innovative in narrative and aesthetic structure as well as content, and also as historical studies, expansive and probing in their interrogations of past struggles and future possibilities for African American communities and the American body politic more broadly. We consider how her novels explore the ongoing disasters that were and are settler colonialism, the Middle Passage and the Atlantic slave trade, the systemic violence of Jim Crow segregation, the violence of patriarchy, the traumas of war and American empire, and the insidious presence of misogyny in the everyday lives of her characters. But, we also look closely at the richness of love and intimacy, the radical roots of self-fashioning, and the insurgent potentiality of mobility and aesthetic creativity coursing through the lives of her protagonists who cut a fugitive path out of slavery, ride the waves of Reconstruction, the Great Migration, Civil Rights era hope and organizing, and post-Soul searching. We read key scholarship in direct conversation with Morrison’s oeuvre, and we examine her robust and demanding critical essays on American literature, on contemporary events, and on the topic of writing.  HURP

* AMST 449a / FILM 447a / HIST 413a, The Historical DocumentaryCharles Musser

This course looks at the historical documentary as a method for carrying out historical work in the public humanities. It investigates the evolving discourse sand resonances within such topics as the Vietnam War, the Holocaust and African American history. It is concerned with their relationship of documentary to traditional scholarly written histories as well as the history of the genre and what is often called the “archival turn.”  WR, HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm, M 7pm-10pm

* AMST 452a / ER&M 452a, Mobility, Race, and U.S. Settler ColonialismLaura Barraclough

This research seminar explores the significance of movement in the making of settler colonial nation-states, as well as contemporary public history projects that interpret those histories of mobility. To do so, it brings together the fields of settler colonial studies, critical Indigenous studies, ethnic studies, public history, and mobility studies. After acquainting ourselves with key debates within each of these fields, we examine case studies from various regions of the settler United States and diverse Indigenous nations. Our goal is to deepen awareness of the complex ways that movements–voluntary and forced, and by settlers, Natives, migrants, and people of color–are reproduced and remembered (or not) in public memory, and how these memories reproduce or destabilize settler colonialism’s social and cultural structures.  HU
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 461a / AFAM 239a / EDST 209a / ER&M 292a / WGSS 202a, Identity, Diversity, and Policy in U.S. EducationCraig Canfield

Introduction to critical theory (feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, disability studies, trans studies, indigenous studies) as a fundamental tool for understanding and critiquing identity, diversity, and policy in U.S. education. Exploration of identity politics and theory, as they figure in education policy. Methods for applying theory and interventions to interrogate issues in education. Application of theory and interventions to policy creation and reform.  WR, HU
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 462b / ER&M 462b / WGSS 463b, The Study of Privilege in the AmericasAna Ramos-Zayas

Examination of inequality, not only through experiences of the poor and marginal, but also through institutions, beliefs, social norms, and everyday practices of the privileged. Topics include: critical examination of key concepts like “studying up,” “elite,” and “privilege,” as well as variations in forms of capital; institutional sites of privilege (elite prep schools, Wall Street); living spaces and social networks (gated communities, private clubs); privilege in intersectional contexts (privilege and race, class, and gender); and everyday practices of intimacy and affect that characterize, solidify, and promote privilege.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 463a and AMST 464b / EVST 463a and EVST 464b / FILM 455a and FILM 456b / THST 457a and THST 458b, Documentary Film WorkshopCharles Musser

A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Film and Media Studies or American Studies who are making documentaries as senior projects. Seniors in other majors admitted as space permits.  RP
W 10:30am-1:20pm, T 7pm-10pm

* AMST 467b / HSHM 469b / MCDB 469b, Biology of Humans through History, Science, and SocietyValerie Horsley

This course is a collaborative course between HSHM and MCDB that brings together humanists and scientists to explore questions of biology, history, and identity. The seminar is intended for STEM and humanities majors interested in understanding the history of science and how it impacts identity, particularly race and gender, in the United States. The course explores how scientific methods and research questions have impacted views of race, sex, gender, gender identity, heterosexism, and obesity. Students learn and evaluate scientific principles and concepts related to biological theories of human difference. There are no prerequisites, this class is open to all.  WR, HU, SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* AMST 470a / AFAM 457a / AFST 457a / ER&M 467a / FREN 481a, Racial Republic: African Diasporic Literature and Culture in Postcolonial FranceFadila Habchi

This is an interdisciplinary seminar on French cultural history from the 1930s to the present. We focus on issues concerning race and gender in the context of colonialism, postcolonialism, and migration. The course investigates how the silencing of colonial history has been made possible culturally and ideologically, and how this silencing has in turn been central to the reorganizing of French culture and society from the period of decolonization to the present. We ask how racial regimes and spaces have been constructed in French colonial discourses and how these constructions have evolved in postcolonial France. We examine postcolonial African diasporic literary writings, films, and other cultural productions that have explored the complex relations between race, colonialism, historical silences, republican universalism, and color-blindness. Topics include the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Black Paris, decolonization, universalism, the Trente Glorieuses, the Paris massacre of 1961, anti-racist movements, the "beur" author, memory, the 2005 riots, and contemporary afro-feminist and decolonial movements.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 471a and AMST 472b, Individual Reading and Research for Juniors and SeniorsStaff

Special projects intended to enable the student to cover material not otherwise offered by the program. The course may be used for research or for directed reading, but in either case a term paper or its equivalent is required as evidence of work done. It is expected that the student will meet regularly with the faculty adviser. To apply for admission, a student should submit a prospectus signed by the faculty adviser to the director of undergraduate studies.

* AMST 487b / PLSC 275b, The Rise of “Presidentialism” in the United StatesStephen Skowronek

This course is about the rise and makeshift character of “presidentialism” in the United States. It will examine different sources of power that have, singly and in combination, put the presidency at the center of government and politics. These include: 1) popular power: in elections, public opinion, parties, and social movements; 2) institutional power: in control of the executive branch, military command, and war making. Readings will delve into cases in which each of these sources of power figured prominently. In every particular, the seminar will consider the strains that this power has put on the constitutional frame. For advanced undergraduates, or by permission  SO

* AMST 491a or b, Senior ProjectStaff

Independent research and proseminar on a one-term senior project. For requirements see under “Senior requirement” in the American Studies program description.

* AMST 493a and AMST 494b, Senior Project for the Intensive MajorStaff

Independent research and proseminar on a two-term senior project. For requirements see under "Senior requirement" in the American Studies program description.
W 9:25am-11:15am