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|This page was last updated: 07/04/01 04:00:14 AM|
Director, Associate Professor Cedric Bryant
Advisory Committee: Professors Terry Arendell (Sociology and Women's Studies), Charles Bassett (American Studies and English), Patrick Brancaccio (English and Performing Arts), Bryant (English), Alec Campbell (Sociology), Debra Campbell (Religious Studies), Anthony Corrado (Government), James Fleming (Science, Technology, and Society), Henry Gemery (Economics), Cheryl Townsend Gilkes (African-American Studies and Sociology), Natalie Harris (English), Peter Harris (English), Jeffrey Kasser (Philosophy), Heidi Kim (Faculty Fellow in American Studies), Elizabeth Leonard (History), Paul Machlin (Music), Sandy Maisel (Government), Phyllis Mannocchi (English), Michael Marlais (Art), Margaret McFadden (American Studies), Thomas Morrione (Sociology), Richard Moss (History), Patricia Onion (English), Leonard Reich (Administrative Science and Science, Technology, and Society), Katherine Stubbs (English), Pamela Thoma (American Studies and Women's Studies), Tad Tuleja (American Studies and Art), Robert Weisbrot (History); Adjunct Instructors Linda Goldstein and Kenneth Eisen; and six elected student representatives.
A student majoring in American studies at Colby is taughtin single courses and through a combination of coursesthe subject matter of America's past and present, with special effort devoted to the integration and knowledge of more than one academic discipline. Built around a core of courses in American studies, American history, and American literature, the American Studies Program strives for genuinely interdisciplinary insights into the complexities of American thought and culture.
Requirements for the Major in American Studies
Of the required courses, History 131/231 and 132/232 and American Studies 271 should be taken before the end of the second year.
The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses offered toward the major. No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. No more than five courses taken abroad may be counted toward the major.
Attention is called to the major in African-American/American studies; requirements are listed under "African-American Studies."
115j The Image of Women and Men in American Film How Hollywood films of a particular era reflected and helped determine the vast social and psychological changes that women, men, and the country were experiencing--or were denying experiencing--during tumultuous time periods of United States history. Topics include gender roles, genre, directorial style, historical background, the effects of camera placement, movement and lighting, and the function of narrative; how to "read" a film. Eras covered in particular years include the Postwar Era (1944-1959) and "The Sixties" (1958-1978). Five spaces reserved for sophomores and higher; application should be made to Ken Eisen at Railroad SSquare Cinema, or email@example.com. Three credit hours. A, D. EISEN
 Medicine in 19th- and 20th-Century America: Women As Pioneer Healers An investigation of medical education and practices in America before the introduction of the scientific model, including regular medicine; "irregular" approaches such as hydropathy, homeopathy, and botanics; and quackery. Primary sources and secondary readings used to explore women's participation as healers and professional doctors during this era. Contrast and comparison will be made with current trends and the status of women who now choose medical careers. Practicing physicians will be invited to participate, and field trips to medical facilities will be considered. Normally offered every other year. Three credit hours. D.
271fs Introduction to American Studies An introduction to methods and themes in American studies, the interdisciplinary examination of past and present United States culture. A wide selection of cultural texts, from all periods of American history, explore the dynamic and contested nature of American identity. Literary, religious, and philosophical texts, historical documents, material objects, works of art and music, and varied forms of popular culture are studied, with a focus on what it means, and has meant, to be an American. Four credit hours. KIM, MCFADDEN
 Introduction to American Material Culture: The Interpretation of Objects Exploration of the ways in which objects can be employed to illuminate the culture of the society in which they were produced. Objects such as photographs, furniture, tools, clothing, and buildings examined in light of an intersecting sequence of methodologies, including close formal analysis, iconography, structuralism, semiotics, feminism, and Marxist criticism. Three credit hours.
275f Gender and Popular Culture In the 20th century, popular culture is a key site for the dissemination of ideas about gender roles, gender relations, and sexuality. Recent feminist approaches to the study of popular culture provide theories on how contemporary films, music, advertising, toys, television, magazines, and popular fiction help to construct us as gendered individuals. Also listed as Women's Studies 275. Four credit hours. D. MCFADDEN
276s African-American Culture in the United States An interdisciplinary examination of black cultural expression from the slave era to the present--including folk tales, blues, gospel music, work songs, jazz, sermons, dance, literature, and social institutions--tracing the stages of development of a distinctive black culture in America, its relationship to the historical, social, and political realities of African Americans, and its role in the cultural formation of the United States. Also listed as African-American Studies 276. Four credit hours. S, D. GILKES
277f Introduction to Asian-American Cultures Through examination of selected interdisciplinary readings and popular culture, a focus on the experiences of Asian Americans in the United States. Thematic emphasis on the diversity of Asian Americans across class, ethnic, and national lines. Topics include the social and cultural construction of race and ethnicity; immigration patterns and their effects; militarism and colonization; family and community; cultural nationalism and feminism. Four credit hours. D. KIM
282s American Popular Culture An examination of "popular" culture and its relationship to "folk," "mass," and "high" cultures. Primary issues considered: (1) the historical evolution of different forms of popular culture, including popular literature, theater, and music, as well as mass cultural forms like silent and sound film, recorded music, radio, paperback books, and television; and (2) the use of theoretical tools of cultural studies to analyze the production and reception of particular examples of popular culture, connecting these texts to their historical and cultural contexts. Special attention to the role of popular culture in shaping the development of gender, racial, and class formations in the United States. Four credit hours. MCFADDEN
 Contemporary Asian-American Women Writers Listed as Women's Studies 315 (q.v.). Four credit hours. L, D.
334s Film and Society Conventional history sees the American 1950s as a stultifying sleepwalk of middle-class conformity. Popular culture, especially film, tells a different story. Examining the allegedly deadly Eisenhower years from the perspectives of cultural studies, generational conflict, and social memory, through 1950s films and popular writings. Why so many scholars have stereotyped the period as bland, and why the enduring appeal of such Fifties icons as James Dean, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe. Four credit hours. TULEJA
378s American Dreams: The Documentary Film Perspective The American experience as viewed through the lenses of American documentary filmmakers and videographers. The issues of documentary: reality or art, truth-telling or fiction-making, propaganda or objective presentation, responsibility of the filmmaker. A study of all the different visions of America that documentaries have created: from its historical roots (The Plow That Broke the Plains, Frank Capra's war documentaries) through its classic examples (High School, Thin Blue Line, Berkeley in the 1960s, Hoop Dreams) to its most current realizations (It Was a Wonderful Life, Tongues Untied), part of a renaissance in American documentary, born out of the new filmic expression of the most marginalized groups in American society. Four credit hours. D. MANNOCCHI
393f Proseminar: American Legend and Lore An examination of American legends, tales, joke cycles, and other vernacular genres in an effort to explain the "stories we tell ourselves about ourselves." Emphasis on in-group, functional values of folk narratives, their historicity, and the creative tension between "book knowledge" and individual expression. Prerequisite: Junior standing as American studies major. Four credit hours. TULEJA
 Personal Narratives of American Women An interdisciplinary examination of American women's stories of themselves--the hidden stories of "marginal" women's experience, which have frequently found a voice and audience through the genre of "personal" narrative in the arts, and the issues of legitimacy and theoretical relevance in defining such texts as personal rather than historical, cultural, or sociological narratives. Using autobiography, creative nonfiction, contemporary music and film, and texts by women of color, lesbians, and working class women, students attempt to define and analyze notions of historical objectivity. Four credit hours.
483f, 484s Senior Honors Project Research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member and focused on an approved interdisciplinary topic leading to the writing of a thesis. Prerequisite: A 3.25 major average and permission of the director of the program. Three credit hours. FACULTY
491f, 492s Independent Study Individual study of special problems in American studies in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the program director. One to four credit hours. FACULTY
493Af Seminar: Culture and Politics in the 1980s An in-depth, interdisciplinary examination of the complex relationships between politics, economics, and cultural production in the 1980s. From a grounding in the history of the decade and in cultural theory, how cultural texts like films, novels, music, music videos, advertising, plays, news media, and television were instrumental in shaping national political culture and American identity. Prerequisite: Senior standing as an American Studies major. Four credit hours. MCFADDEN
493Bs Seminar: The Cultures of Maine An interdisciplinary exploration of the extraordinarily rich cultural history of the state of Maine, with particular attention to the intersections of natural history. Topics include the interactions of Native American, Franco-American, and "Yankee" cultures; distinctive cultures of work (lumbering, lobstering, shipbuilding and seafaring, industrial labor); "Down East" humor and musical traditions; and visual art, photography, and literature representing Maine life and landscapes. Prerequisite: Senior standing as an American Studies major. Four credit hours. MCFADDEN
Every effort is made to ensure that this information is correct. If you received conflicting information, have questions, or would like clarification, please contact the Registrar's Office at 207-872-3000.
Colby is a four-year, residential, liberal arts college in Waterville, Maine. Colby offers undergraduate courses during fall and spring semesters and grants bachelors of arts degrees.