American Studies (AMST)

* AMST 029b / ENGL 0729b / HUMS 032b, Henry ThoreauMichael Warner

Henry Thoreau played a critical role in the development of environmentalism, American prose, civil rights, and the politics of protest. We read his writing in depth, and with care, understanding it both in its historical context and in its relation to present concerns of democracy and climate change. We read his published writing and parts of the journal, as well as biographical and contextual material. The class makes a field trip to Walden Pond and Concord, learning about climate change at Walden as revealed by Thoreau’s unparalleled documentation of his biotic surroundings. Student's consider Thoreau’s place in current debates about the environment and politics, and are encouraged to make connection with those debates in a final paper. Previously ENGL 029. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  HU
HTBA

* AMST 031a / WGSS 031a, LGBTQ Spaces and PlacesScott 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.   HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 032b / WGSS 036b, 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.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 039a / ENGL 039a / ER&M 039a, Latinx Literature Aside the LawJoseph Miranda

How has Latinx identity emerged through and against the law? From the suspension of Puerto Rican sovereignty to the contemporary proliferation of ethnic studies bans, the state has used the law to delimit Latinx to transparent or static categories of irregular “citizen,” “refugee,” and “migrant.”  If conventional thinking assumes that art only responds to the law in protest or affirmation of the status quo, this seminar introduces students to the ways Latinx literature engages, resists, and disidentifies with the law as it delineates national belonging. We ask how do Latinx creative expressions expand the notions of citizenship, nation, and family beyond their raced, classed, and gendered origins to imagine new futures. Through attention to contemporary tv, film, novels, and poetry, we examine how Latinx artists build alternative forms of thriving collective life in forms of mutual aid, queer kinship, party, and protest. Works up for discussion include those by Justin Torres, Raquel Salas Rivera, and the television show Vida. Drawing inspiration from these texts, students collaborate on podcasts, write analytical essays, and complete other critical and creative projects. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  WR, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 050b / ENGL 0150b, Reading Poetry for LifeJim Berger

This is a course about reading poetry–about how to read poetry. It is also a course about how reading poetry helps us live, and especially in a world of multiple zones of crisis, violence, injustice, and environmental degradation. Thus, the course’s goals are intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, and ethical. True engagement with poetry is an engagement of the whole person. The course is organized thematically: There are units on poetic responses to war and social injustice; on personal pain and transformation; on poetry of happiness; and on poems that just enjoy their own formal processes. Poetry can say powerfully–sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely–what may be difficult to express in other forms. And yet, we must ask also, what good does it do? It helps us feel? It helps us think? It helps us feel and think with others? Poetry is a very old form of linguistic expression, perhaps the oldest. Here we are, still writing and reading it. And the sufferings, crimes, and hopes it has always imagined still are happening. Here we are. Maybe poetry is our best attempt at honesty, as simple and complex as that is. Previously ENGL 050. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* AMST 099a / ER&M 089a / HIST 059a / PHYS 047a, Asian Americans and STEMEun-Joo Ahn

As both objects of study and agents of discovery, Asian Americans have played an important yet often unseen role in fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the U.S. Now more than ever, there is a need to rethink and educate students on science’s role in society and its interface with society. This course unites the humanities fields of Asian American history and American Studies with the STEM fields of medicine, physics, and computer science to explore the ways in which scientific practice has been shaped by U.S. histories of imperialism and colonialism, migration and racial exclusion, domestic and international labor and economics, and war. The course also explores the scientific research undertaken in these fields and delves into key scientific principles and concepts to understand the impact of such work on the lives of Asians and Asian Americans, and how the migration of people may have impacted the migration of ideas and scientific progress. Using case students, students engage with fundamental scientific concepts in these fields. They explore key roles Asians and Asian Americans had in the development in science and technology in the United States and around the world as well as the impact of state policies regarding the migration of technical labor and the concerns over brain drains. Students also examine diversity and inclusion in the context of the experiences of Asians and Asian Americans in STEM. Enrollment limited to first-year students.   HU, SC
TTh 9am-10:15am

* AMST 104a, Country Music in AmericaRyan Brasseaux

Country music is a distinctly American music. The genre blossomed from its vernacular Southern roots during the twentieth century and grew in scope and popularity with the rise the recording industry in the United States. Populated by guitars and fiddles, heroes and outlaws, country music gave the world Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood. Why have these artists achieved iconic status in America? What meaning can we cull about life in the United States from their musical legacies? This interdisciplinary course considers the major trends, influential artists, and varied influences affecting country music through time. More broadly, the genre is used as a vehicle for understanding shifting socio-cultural, political, and economic phenomena in the United States from 1927 to the present. The readings cover a broad range of issues and perspectives that have come to define country music historiography. Race, culture, commercialization, notions of authenticity, and the assertion proposed by country music’s senior authority, Bill C. Malone, “that the music emerged from southern working-class culture” are all used as frames for understanding the genre. Each seminar meeting will include discussion of that week’s readings followed by song analyses presented by students.  HU
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

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
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* AMST 117a / HSAR 217a, American Art to 1900Staff

This course offers a survey of American art from European colonization of the continent to the establishment of a US overseas empire circa 1900. Through paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and material culture, we consider the role of the visual arts in settler colonialism and nation building, in the invention of race and enforcement of its categories, and in the construction of citizenship. Throughout the term we think about how American art is shaped within wider Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean worlds. We look at plantation and “frontier” landscapes, the art of natural history, the cult of presidential images, the emergence of photojournalism, the creation of the modern museum, and the politics of public monuments. The aim of this course is three-fold: to acquire a foundational understanding of the art and visual culture of the United States, to situate the visual in the context of a historical and cultural framework, and to learn how to think and write about objects.  The course is open to students at all levels, including those with no prior background in art history.  HU0 Course cr
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AMST 160a / AFAM 160a / AFST 184a / HIST 184a, History 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
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AMST 163b / EVST 120b / HIST 120b / HSHM 204b, American Environmental HistoryPaul Sabin

Ways in which people have shaped and been shaped by the changing environments of North America from precolonial times to the present. Migration of species and trade in commodities; the impact of technology, agriculture, and industry; the development of resources in the American West and overseas; the rise of modern conservation and environmental movements; the role of planning and impact of public policies.  WR, HU
MW 11:35am-12:25pm

* AMST 190b / URBN 307b, Race, Class, and Gender in American CitiesLaura Barraclough

This seminar explores how racial, gender, and class inequalities have been built, sustained, and challenged in U.S. cities, with a focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The first part of the course examines historical processes that are especially salient for identity and inequality, such as the gendered organization of public and private space, the shifting fate of industrial work, and suburbanization. The second part of the course focuses on contemporary processes that reproduce or challenge the historical construction of urban inequality. Topics include gentrification, transit equity, environmental justice, and the relationships between public space, democracy, and community wellbeing.  SO
Th 9:25am-11:15am

AMST 200b / HUMS 165b / SOCY 207b / WGSS 200b, Topics in Human SexualityJoseph Fischel

In 1970, Yale professors and sexuality scholars Lorna and Philip Sarrel introduced what came to be their wildly popular lecture, “Topics in Human Sexuality.” The course, offered at the height of the sexual revolution and shortly after Yale University admitted women undergraduates, was multipurpose: to teach students about pressing, contemporary social problems around sex, gender, and sexuality; to help students learn about their bodies, sexualities, and relationships; to direct students to resources and information about their sexual and reproductive health; and to advance the mission of a liberal arts education, namely, the cultivation of well-rounded, critically engaged, curious, participatory young citizens. This iteration of the course is inspired by the Sarrels’ ambitions, even if we are unlikely to realize them in full. The course is offered in the spirit of a critical sexuality education, critical as in 1) theory- rather than practicum-driven, but nonetheless 2) urgent. As political movements that endanger transgender children, suppress sexual expression, and rescind reproductive rights gain traction, the course offers candid, careful focus on: abortion, sexual education, queer and trans kids, pornography, university sexual politics, hooking up, and breaking up.  Along the way, we watch a season of Netlfix’s “Sex Education” together. The class (nonexclusively) focuses on social and political problems in the contemporary United States, and examines those problems by drawing upon scholarship in Gender & Sexuality Studies, American Studies, Sociology, Psychology, and Public Law.  HU, SO
TTh 10:30am-11:20am

* AMST 205a, American ExceptionalismRoberto Sirvent

This class takes a critical look at the ideology of American exceptionalism and the ways it is represented and reinforced in American popular culture, electoral politics, the U.S. corporate media, and various academic disciplines. This course pays special attention to how a study of slavery, settler colonialism, and U.S. imperialism challenges narratives of U.S. exceptionalism and innocence, as well as stories commonly told about freedom, emancipation, and racial progress. Students explore how the 1619 Project, dinosaur paleontology, and the Broadway Musical Hamilton are rooted in ideologies of American exceptionalism and why Indigenous groups say Mount Rushmore, Thanksgiving, and native-themed sports mascots are celebrations of genocide. Students examine how claims that the U.S. is “redeemable” or that the country must “reckon with its shameful past” and “live up to its founding ideals” – or even fears that “our democracy is under threat” and that we’re “slipping toward fascism” – are deeply grounded in logics of exceptionalism and innocence. This course therefore invites students to re-think their national attachments, investments, allegiances, and fantasies and to consider the circumstances that led Audre Lorde to say, “We are citizens of a country that stands upon the wrong side of every liberation struggle on earth.”  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

AMST 207a / AFAM 117a / MUSI 156a / WGSS 117a, Beyonce Makes History: Black Radical Tradition History, Culture, Theory & Politics through MusicStaff

This class centers the 2010s and 2020s’ sonic and visual repertoire of Beyonce Knowles-Carter (from 2013’s self-titled album through 2024’s Cowboy Carter) as the portal through which to rigorously examine key interdisciplinary works of Black intellectual thought and grassroots activist practices across the centuries. Its aim is two-fold: to both explore and analyze the dense, robust and virtuosic aesthetics, socio-historical and political dimensions of Beyonce’s pathbreaking, mid-career body of work and to, likewise, use her aesthetics; the multi-dimensional form and content of her recordings; her boundary-transgressing performance politics; her history-making visual albums; her innovative concert films; her unprecedented pop music archival endeavors and more as the occasion to explore landmark Black Studies scholarship and Black freedom struggle scholarly and cultural texts (in history, Black feminist theory, philosophy, anthropology, art history, performance studies, musicology, political science, sociology, dance, American Studies, religious studies, archival studies etc.) that directly resonate with Beyonce’s sonic, visual and live performance endeavors. In short, this is a class that traces the relationship between Beyonce’s artistic genius and Black intellectual practice.  HU0 Course cr
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* AMST 218b / WGSS 218b, Sex, Gender, and American ModernsScott 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 222a / WGSS 226a, Pop SapphismKaren Tongson

Lesbian popular culture, despite rare waves of visibility, is construed as generically niche and embalmed in past eras like the 1970s and 1990s. As we enter deeper into the millennium, the lesbian presence in pop—from music and literature, to film, TV, and other media—is revivified through the more expansive sexual and aesthetic imaginary of “sapphism,” a term that signals the explicitly gay, as well as the more implicitly “queer coded.” Female-identified artists and creators, whether they’re out or not, inspire a sapphic pop culture comprised of both artists and a robust fan culture, that calls upon the historical archives and intimate reading practices of lesbian cultures and queer theory, including the resurgence of Sapphic poetry itself. This seminar revisits the key historical and aesthetic touchstones of “sapphism,” while engaging contemporary iterations of sapphic pop culture, from figures like K-Stew (Kristen Stewart), Janelle Monae, and a slew of “converted” reality contestants, to the controversies surrounding “Gaylorism” itself. The seminar teaches genealogical and historiographic approaches to sexuality studies, along with techniques of close reading and analysis in Queer Studies—especially recent books on lesbian aesthetics, as well as earlier iterations queer of color critique.  HU
M 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
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AMST 239a / ENGL 187a, Love and Hate in the American SouthStaff

An introduction to the literature and culture of the American South, a region of the mind identified with the former Confederate States of America and fabricated from a mix of beautiful dreams and violent nightmares, including: histories of slavery and settler colonialism, gothic fiction, the Delta blues, Hollywood movies, evangelical sermons, The Confessions of Nat Turner, love poems, protest poems, prison songs, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, country music, photographs, “Strange Fruit,” folk tales, memoirs, cookbook recipes, and other fantasies. Close reading, cultural analysis, and historical context. Literary works by Capote, Faulkner, Hurston, Jacobs, O’Connor, Poe, Twain, Toomer, Walker, Welty, Wright. Music, film, and other media.  HU0 Course cr
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* 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
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 257a / ENGL 325a, Modern Apocalyptic NarrativesJim Berger

The persistent impulse in Western culture to imagine the end of the world and what might follow. Social and psychological factors that motivate apocalyptic representations. Differences and constant features in apocalyptic representations from the Hebrew Bible to contemporary science fiction. Attitudes toward history, politics, sexuality, social class, and the process of representation in apocalyptic texts.  HU
T 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 258b / ER&M 258b / EVST 258b / WGSS 258b, Wilderness in the North American Imagination: What Was the Wild?Dolma Ombadykow

This course examines the history of natural science, with a particular attention to nineteenth and early-twentieth century colonial understandings of the wild, the civil, the self, and the other. The wild—whether the American West, the Gobi Desert, or the Amazon River—conjures visions of a place set apart by space, but also by time. In the western imagination, the wild is a decidedly historical—perhaps even prehistoric—place. Does the wild still exist, and what might the wild of the future look like? Centering critique from Black studies, Indigenous studies, gender and sexuality studies, critical race studies, and science and technology studies, this course asks: how have institutions like museums, zoos, the military, governments, and NGOs shaped our understandings of who, what, and when counts as wild? This course encourages students to think against dominant narrations of agriculture, conservation, natural resource extraction, tourism, and the promises of global commerce to attend to alternative formations of the natural. What roles do race, gender, sexuality, labor, and class play in our understandings of the wilderness? What does it mean for the wild to be populated, engineered, manicured, curated, or preserved? Each week, students will open class by introducing us to a place or a concept that pushes at the conceptual limits of the wild. Examples may be places or experiences of personal importance, like the family fish camp or an ancestral homeland, but equally permitted are explorations of, as examples, the rats of the New York City subway, the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill, metastatic cancer, or microplastics.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

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

As places, schools both shape and are profoundly shaped by the built environment and the breathed, braved, and believed everyday experiences of the people that interact with them. That everyday environment is just as grounded in the past as it is in the present. Teachers, administrators, students, and parents are impacted by the racialized narratives about the past that groups and individuals take up to explain the bygone, 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.  Given the weight that narratives of social mobility in the United States place upon education, there is profound 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. 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 270a / ENGL 270a, Asian Culture in U.S. Literature and FilmJohn Williams

This course offers a survey of literary and cinematic representations of Asia and Asian America by a number of highly influential Euro- and Asian-American authors and filmmakers in the twentieth century. Unlike more traditional survey of American orientalism that deal exclusively with white American images of the East, this course examines the notion that Asian Americans contributed in significant ways to the representation of Asia and Asian America in the American imagination, often appropriating and re-purposing stereotypical images to secure a more positive space in the American cultural landscape. Our readings and discussions consider the extent to which the "Asia" that emerges in twentieth-century American literary and visual culture was a product of not only powerful (and often powerfully racist) Euro-American visions of Asian "others," but also dialogic re-imaginations of Asia created by Asian-Americans themselves. Questions that the course addresses include: In what sense is "Asia" an aesthetic category in American literary and visual culture? What role does genre play in the circulation and recirculation of American images of Asia during the twentieth century? How do the political and economic demands of artistic production (for both literature and film) influence the type and heterogeneity of American images of Asia?  WR, HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* AMST 286a / AFAM 182a / ENGL 182a / HUMS 241a, James Baldwin's American SceneStaff

In-depth examination of James Baldwin's canon, tracking his work as an American artist, citizen, and witness to United States society, politics, and culture during the Cold War, the Civil Rights era, and the Black Arts Movement.  HU0 Course cr
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* AMST 300a / WGSS 350a, The Invention of LoveIgor De Souza

This course proposes a historical, theoretical, and cultural investigation of what we call “romantic love,” the kind of love we tend to associate with courtship, with relationships that include a sexual-erotic component, and with marriage. We begin with Denis de Rougemont’s controversial thesis that romantic love was invented around the 1200s in the courtly culture of Southern France. We examine manifestations of romantic love in medieval Arab cultures as precedents to the invention of courtly love. In the second part of our course, we turn to modern humanistic theories about romantic love. Among the questions that critical theorists and philosophers have posed, we consider: How is love related to desire? Is sexual desire an indispensable component of romantic love? Is romantic love ultimately a selfish, exclusionary act, or is it about renouncing the self, losing the self in the other? In the third part of our course, we apply the insights of parts 1 and 2 to discuss case studies of romantic love in the contemporary United States. In this section, we explore reining assumptions between romantic love and: marriage; monogamy; dating; the digital environment; queerness; age; and transnationalism.
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* 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 310b / HSAR 447b, The American West: Art, Land, PoliticsJennifer Raab

The American West holds a powerful place in the cultural and political imagination of the United States. This seminar considers changing conceptions of the land across media—from maps and guidebooks, to paintings, panoramas, and photographs, to earth art and satellite imagery. We examine the politics of water rights; artists’ engagement with ecological questions; the representation of railroads, National Parks, ghost towns, and highways; the mythology of the frontier; and the visual construction of settler colonialism and indigenous resistance. The course emphasizes close attention to works of art, archival research, and developing term papers that engage with the Beinecke’s extraordinary Western Americana Collection. Classes are held at the Beinecke as well as the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Peabody Museum.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 312b / AFAM 326b / ER&M 310b / WGSS 298b, Postcolonial Cities of the WestFadila Habchi

Examination of various texts and films pertaining to the representation of postcolonial cities in the global north and a range of social, political, and cultural issues that concern those who inhabit these spaces.   HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 314b / ER&M 314b / WGSS 306b, Gender and TransgenderGreta LaFleur

Introduction to transgender studies, an emergent field that draws on gender studies, queer theory, sociology, feminist science studies, literary studies, and history. Representations of gender nonconformity in a cultural context dominated by a two-sex model of human gender differentiation. Sources include novels, autobiographies, films, and philosophy and criticism.  RP
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* AMST 315b / ANTH 319b / WGSS 217b, Writing Anthropology: Digital Fan CommunitiesStaff

Are you a Twihard? BTS ARMY? A Chalamaniac? This course investigates the communities and practices that emerge around popular media. In this course we think critically about fan responses to popular media through fanfiction, fanvids, shipping, and online fandoms. Through which we explore how fan responses point to and rely on the questioning and rethinking of media texts, to reinvent them as powerful but covert means of access and transformation. We examine fandoms/online fan communities as addressing the needs of marginalized communities to adapt, expand, and challenge books, movies, music, and other media to meet their needs. This course engages fan cultural practices as robust networks of critique through examinations of gender, race, sexuality, intellectual property ownership, and the production of fan labor.   WR, SO
TTh 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
HTBA

* AMST 336a / WGSS 335a, LGBTQ Life SpansScott 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
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* AMST 357b, The Times of Bob DylanMichael Denning

An exploration of the times of Bob Dylan: the rhythms, tempos, and meters of his songs, and the social, political, cultural and musical histories of his times, from the 1920s to the 2010s. Topics include the blues and folk music revivals, the “new song” movements, rock music, and the transformations in the music industry; Dylan’s involvement in the civil rights and black liberation movements; his place in the experimental arts of 1960s postmodernism; his relation to the remaking of American religion; his songs of love and war in an era of sexual revolution, women’s liberation, and antiwar mobilization; the covers of his songs by musicians across styles, modes, and languages; and the overarching question of the social situations and cultural meanings of song. Along with Dylan’s songs, films, and memoir (Chronicles), we read musicologists, literary critics, cultural theorists, historians, and American studies scholars.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 369a / ER&M 229a, Marxism and Social Movements in the Twentieth CenturyMichael Denning

The history of Marxism and its relation to the labor, feminist, and anticolonial social movements since the great upheavals of 1919. Topics include the Leninisms of the Communist movement, the anticolonial Marxisms of national liberation struggles, the cultural and intellectual trajectory of Western Marxism, the New Left, and contemporary global justice movements.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 371a / ER&M 297a, Food, Race, and Migration in United States SocietyQuan Tran

Exploration of the relationship between food, race, and migration in historical and contemporary United States contexts. Organized thematically and anchored in selected case studies, this course is comparative in scope and draws from contemporary work in the fields of food studies, ethnic studies, migration studies, American studies, anthropology, and history.    SO
T 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 376b / HSAR 496b, Art and the American Civil WarJennifer Raab

The military battles of the American Civil War may have been fought between 1861 and 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation issued in 1863, but the pain, injustice, structural inequalities, and state-sponsored violence that are the legacies of chattel slavery remain. One might say that the Civil War has never really ended. This course looks not only at the visual and material culture produced during the conflict but also its far-reaching future effects. We explore the emergence of photojournalism and the illustrated newspaper; African American activism and the use of photographic portraiture; radical shifts in religious and cultural rituals surrounding death and mourning; the material culture of disability; the absence of traditional history paintings and the surge of white supremacist sculptures after Reconstruction; and how the violence and trauma of war and enslavement pose distinct ethical and representational challenges for visual media. We visit collections across campus and think about the memorialization of the war at Yale, in New Haven, and beyond.  HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 394a / ER&M 404a / HIST 114Ja, Texas HistoriesStephen Pitti

An exploration of topics in Texas history from the 16th century into the contemporary moment. Readings focus on Native American, African American, Latinx, Asian American, and LGBTQ histories, as well as broader political developments and patterns over the last two centuries.    WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 395a / FILM 327a, Studies in Documentary FilmCharles Musser

This course examines key works, crucial texts, and fundamental concepts in the critical study of non-fiction cinema, exploring the participant-observer dialectic, the performative, and changing ideas of truth in documentary forms.  HURP
T 3:30pm-5:20pm, M 7pm-10pm

* AMST 403b, Introduction to Public HumanitiesMatthew Jacobson and Ryan Brasseaux

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
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 406a / ENGL 326a, The Spectacle of DisabilityJim 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 416a / ENGL 396a / ER&M 339a, Region, Indigeneity, and American Literary RealismLloyd Kevin Sy

A study of American literature between roughly 1865 and 1930, with a focus on the themes of place and race, especially how authors handle the theme of being authentically American. An outsized focus is placed on the often neglected works of Indigenous American writers. Potential readings: Zitkala-Sa, Sarah Winnemucca, Susette La Flesche, Mourning Dove, Twain, James, Charles Chesnutt, Hurston, Cather, Dunbar, Wharton, Sherwood Anderson, Jewett, Sui Sin Far. May satisfy the 18th/19th century or 20th/21st century literature requirement for English majors with permission from the instructor and the DUS.  HU
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 426a, U.S. Militarism and Popular CultureRoberto Sirvent

What role do baking competitions, reality TV, and American Idol play in rallying support for the military? How did the Department of Defense and NASA develop such close ties with Iron Man and Captain Marvel?  How can the field of critical food studies help us understand the connection between Starbucks, corporate power, and the U.S. war machine? This course examines the growing culture of American militarism across various mediums such as film, television, video games, music, toys, sports, and comic books. Students draw on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of popular culture to explore how different kinds of media promote war as a form of “militainment” that ultimately serves to valorize troops, sanitize war, and glorify territorial conquest. Throughout the course, students also are introduced to pop culture representations of nuclear weapons, AI, and biological warfare; the prevalence of Islamophobia in the digital games industry; current debates around UFOs, alien abduction, and government coverup; and the ways professional sport teams like the Kansas City Chiefs reenact and celebrate the killing of Indigenous people for pleasure and entertainment – and how such native cultural appropriation fits into the larger historical context of the Indian wars and U.S. military violence.  SO
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 428a / ENGL 332a / ER&M 448a / WGSS 328a, “I Don’t Like to Argue”: The Styles and Politics of HumilitySunny Xiang and Minh Vu

What can academic writing do besides argue? Why does critical thinking so often compel an idiom of claiming, exploring, discovering, and mastering? What might writers strive for, if not newness, rigor, excellence, or even one’s own voice? In this class, we defamiliarize and repair the habits of mind and body that have been normalized by the university. Some of our time goes toward identifying the racial and colonial logics as well as presumptions about gender and ability that inform the conventions, genres, and styles of scholarly prose. For example, we contemplate the power relations and tonal effects embedded in the familiar maneuvers of advancing and defending arguments. Most of the class’s energy, however, is devoted to testing out less combative modes of inhabiting the page. We pursue these experiments not in the name of novelty but with the hope that our compositional practices can move us toward different values and different futures for writing, conversing, and living as subjects of the university. To guide us in this endeavor, we look to scholars who have critiqued the politics of knowledge by mobilizing alternative styles of knowing. Some, for example, have turned footnotes into an occasion for giving thanks instead of exhibiting mastery. Others have repurposed quotations and images in ways that challenge traditional regimes of evidence.   HU
T 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
Th 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
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* AMST 447b / EDST 270b / ER&M 367b, Contemporary Native American K-12 and Postsecondary Educational PolicyMira Debs

This course will explore current Native American educational policy issues, programming, funding, and success. Native American representation in policy conversations is often incomplete, complicated, or relegated to an asterisk resulting in a lack of resources, awareness, and visibility in educational policy. This course examines the challenges and issues related to Native education; however, the impetus of this course centers on the resiliency, strength, and imagination of Native American students and communities to redefine and achieve success in a complex and often unfamiliar educational environment. EDST 110 recommended  SO
W 9:25am-11:15am

* AMST 450a / ER&M 430a / WGSS 461a, Islam in the American ImaginationZareena Grewal

The representation of Muslims in the United States and abroad throughout the twentieth century. The place of Islam in the American imagination; intersections between concerns of race and citizenship in the United States and foreign policies directed toward the Middle East.  WR, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 459b / ANTH 465b, Multispecies WorldsKathryn Dudley

This seminar explores the relational and material worlds that humans create in concert with other-than-human species. Through an interdisciplinary analysis of the problematic subject of anthropology—Anthropos—we seek to pose new questions about the fate of life worlds in the present epoch of anthropogenic climate change. Our readings track circuits of knowledge from anthropology and philosophy to geological history, literary criticism, and environmental studies as we come to terms with the loss of biodiversity, impending wildlife extinctions, and political-economic havoc wrought by global warming associated with the Anthropocene.  A persistent provocation guides our inquiry: What multispecies worldings become possible to recognize and cultivate when we dare to decenter the human in our politics, passions, and aspirations for life on a shared planet?  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 461b / AFAM 239b / EDST 209b / ER&M 292b / WGSS 202b, 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 463a and AMST 464b / EVST 463a and EVST 464b / FILM 455a and FILM 456b / THST 457a and THST 458b, Documentary Film WorkshopStaff

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 3:30pm-5:20pm, T 7pm-10pm

* AMST 465a / AFAM 375a / FREN 365a / HIST 378a / LITR 377a, Haiti in the Age of RevolutionsMarlene Daut

The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) was an event of monumental world-historical significance. This class studies the collection of slave revolts and military strikes beginning in August of 1791 that resulted in the eventual abolition of slavery in the French colony of Saint-Domingue and its subsequent independence and rebirth in January of 1804 as Haiti, the first independent and slavery-free nation of the American hemisphere. Considering Haiti's war of independence in the broader context of the Age of Revolutions, we cover topics such as enlightenment thought, natural history, the workings and politics of the printing press, and representations of the Haitian Revolution in art, literature, music, and in various kinds of historical writings and archival documents. Students develop an understanding of the relevant scholarship on the Haitian Revolution as they consider the relationship of this important event to the way it was written about both as it unfolded and in its long wake leading up to the present day.  WR, HU
W 9:25am-11:15am

* 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
MW 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 SeniorsLaura Wexler

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.
HTBA

* AMST 482a / AFAM 382a / ENGL 273a / FREN 382a / LITR 424a, Zombies, Witches, Gods, and Spirits in Caribbean LiteratureMarlene Daut

This course delves into the rich tapestry of Caribbean literature through the lens of the seemingly supernatural, such as zombies, witches, gods, and spirits. Throughout the semester, students critically analyze a diverse range of texts by authors as varied as Edwidge Danticat, René Depestre, Derek Walcott, Alejo Carpentier, Jean Rhys, and Aimé Césaire, and others, to explore how Caribbean authors have employed other worldly elements as powerful metaphors for colonialism and resistance, trauma and cultural memory.
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* AMST 491a or b, Senior ProjectLaura Wexler

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

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

Independent research and proseminar on a two-term senior project. For requirements see under "Senior requirement" in the American Studies program description.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm