1000 E. University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766 3898
Fax: (307) 766 3700
The summer field course is cross-listed with RELI 4500 and will be team-taught by Religious Studies Prof. Mary Keller and Mary Humstone of American Studies. Based out of Cody, Wyoming, the course provides students with an interdisciplinary study of Heart Mountain, a prominent landmark with several layers of significance in American history and culture. Students will explore the area and its ecology and history through field trips, landscape surveys and meetings with representatives of the various groups for whom Heart Mountain holds special significance, including Plains Indians, homesteaders in the Shoshone irrigation district, Japanese-Americans interned at the Heart Mountain relocation center, and conservationists with the Nature Conservancy. The first days of the course coincide with the annual Heart Mountain Internment Camp pilgrimage event and the final days coincide with a three-day Heart Mountain event that includes an academic seminar, a field day on the mountain with Apsáalooke (Crow) tribal members, and an early morning Pipe Ceremony led by Grant Bulltail, Apsáalooke Pipe Lighter. The final project for the course is the creation of a cultural geography of the mountain, by individuals or in groups, working with multi-media or traditional text. Course begins July 8. Cody field dates are July 18-27.
This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies by using a variety of sources (fiction, non-fiction, scholarship, memory, experience, autobiography, and film) to begin to “read” the landscapes in which we live, work, dream, and become ourselves. Landscapes are powerful cultural symbols. We will use a variety of expressions of landscape experience (as well as our own memories, and experience of Laramie and the UW campus in a two-week unit devoted to exploring local landscape) to see how landscapes work to create, sustain, or complicate us in the context of American cultural values and experiences.
The broad mission of American Studies is to develop a complex understanding of American life, past and present. This class is intended to introduce you to the interdisciplinary study of American culture by bringing together disparate materials and analytical approaches. The academic field of American Studies embraces an immense variety of topics, bodies of evidence, and forms of cultural expression, far too much to address in one class. Therefore, we will concentrate on a few themes that illustrate American Studies perspectives. In this section of AMST 2010 we will focus on the social and cultural aspects of stereotyping in America. At one time or another we are all both perpetrators and victims of stereotyping. We will consider how stereotypes shape American identities, including our own. Along with the most familiar kinds of stereotyping (race, ethnicity, gender, etc.), we will pay particular attention to stereotypes of rural life in America. Two of the texts we will read in this class are Philip Deloria’s Playing Indian (1999) and Anthony Harkins’s Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon (2005).
In this course, we will critically discuss the concept of cultural diversity in the United States with a special focus on gender, “race,” class, religion, and sexual orientation. The texts we will discuss in class include both fictional and non-fictional accounts and oftentimes involve intersections categories of identity construction and oftentimes call these categories into question. Course requirements include five response papers, one 5-7 page essay, active participation, various quizzes, a midterm and a final exam.
Julia Alvarez, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents; James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room; Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw; Philip Deloria, Playing Indian; Lealan Jones and Lloyd Newman, Our America; Nella Larsen, Passing; Eboo Patel, Acts of Faith
This class is an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of food as an expression of values, social relations, and artistic sensibilities in America, past and present. We will approach the topic from a number of angles—humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic. You will be asked to think about food and food related behavior in broad historical, geographical, and social contexts, but also in the more specific terms of personal experience. In fact, throughout the semester you will be asked to examine your own and your classmates' foodways as concrete examples of the issues raised in the readings.
Texts include (partial list):
Warren Belasco, Food: The Key Concepts
E.N. Anderson, Everyone Eats: Understanding Food and Culture
Sidney Mintz, Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom
E. Melanie DuPuis, Nature’s Perfect Food: How Milk Became America’s Drink
In this course, we will look at ways in which popular music has intersected with sexual and gendered identities as a means and expression of both oppression and liberation. We will begin with a few theoretical texts discussing the performative qualities of gender and sexuality and then symptomatically analyze constructions of sexual and gendered identities in a number of historical time periods and musical genres (for instance, 1930s blues, 1960s rock, 1970s disco). We will pay particular attention to the “queering” of popular music by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered artists and scholars. Throughout the semester, we will be using film clips and music played in class in order to symptomatically prove or disprove the theories we are discussing. Course requirements include one 5-7 page essay and a presentation of your research, six response papers, a final exam as well as various quizzes.
Philip Auslander, Performing Glam Rock; Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism; Kai Fikentscher, You Better Work: Underground Dance Music in New York City; Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance; Lauraine Leblanc, Pretty in Punk
Note: Credit for AMST 4500 will be administratively transferred to AMST 5040/4040 as soon as the new numbers become available)
As proponents of historic preservation like to say “the greenest building is the one that already exists.” Historic preservation as a popular movement has existed in the United States for more than 150 years, yet the value of preserving and using historic buildings is rarely considered in contemporary discussions of sustainability and green building. This course explores the historic preservation and sustainability movements in the United States, and introduces students to contemporary practices in these two inter‐related fields. Students will study the basic tenets of sustainability as they relate to the environment, culture and economics, and learn how existing buildings can meet sustainability goals. Classes will include both lectures and discussions, supplemented by field trips to sites in Laramie, Fort Collins and Denver to explore sustainability issues firsthand.
The course is team taught by Mary Humstone, historic preservation specialist in American studies, and Tony Denzer, associate professor of architectural engineering. The main textbook for the course, Robert A. Young’s Stewardship of the Built Environment: Sustainability, Preservation and Reuse (2012), will be supplemented with book excerpts, articles and case studies from a variety of sources including up-to-date research reports from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Green Lab in Seattle. Students will complete a semester project or paper in a historic preservation/sustainability topic of their choice.
This 1-2 credit course will continue our project documenting the present location, ownership, and condition of the barracks of the former Heart Mountain Relocation Center. This course will require two weekend trips to the Heart Mountain area during March and April, dates to be negotiated. Students opting for one credit will be required to document structures and submit a report, along with their data. Students electing to take the course for 2 credits will supplement these tasks with a 7-10 page paper, placing the barracks in either their historic or contemporary contexts. Note: Registration for this course requires prior consultation with the instructor.
This spring, Varieties of Literary Evidence will explore the letters of science--scientists as writers, writing about science, and what might seem to be "literary" features of scientific method, imagination, and explanation. How does science change? How was Thoreau a scientist? How deeply do we understand the promises or performances of "modern science"? We will focus on geology and geologists for part of our semester, through Stephen Jay Gould on metaphors of arrows and cycles of time in geology, Wallace Stegner on John Wesley Powell in the American West, and John McPhee on American geology and geologists, with a look also at images of American geology in art and science. Our aim throughout will be to engage the letters (and images) of science as a lively fund of questions rather than answers about dynamic structures, narratives, and habits of scientific thinking.
In this course, we will approach African American popular culture from theoretical perspectives which include black feminist, postcolonial, and poststructuralist analyses. The texts for this class include primary as well as secondary sources and deal with various aspects of black popular culture, including, but not limited to, minstrelsy, popular music (blues, reggae, soul, hip hop), film, science fiction, comic books, hair, and sports cultures. The class is geared towards graduate students in American Studies, African American and Diaspora Studies, English, Women’s Studies, Communication Studies, and other related fields. Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and develop academic research on black popular culture, which they have to document in bi-weekly response papers, a research paper, and a class presentation.
Octavia Butler, Kindred; Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism; Paul Gilroy, Darker than Blue; Ed Guerrero, Framing Blackness; Bambi Haggins, Laughing Mad; Adilifu Nama, Super Black
Historic preservation involves the examination, evaluation and protection of the built environment. The term “historic preservation” refers to a popular movement, as well as a function of government and a set of professional practices. From its beginnings as a patriotic activity in the mid-19th century, the U.S. preservation movement has grown to encompass a range of contemporary issues including multi-culturalism, sustainability and economic development. Preservation began as a grassroots movement, mostly powered by women. Today individuals and nonprofit organizations partner with government agencies and corporations to save historic places, for living, working and public meeting spaces, as well as museums and historic sites.
In this online course, students will examine the built environment – buildings, structures, objects, districts, sites and landscapes – as the physical representation of history and culture. Students will study the history of the preservation movement to gain a perspective on its role in shaping our communities. They will also be introduced to, and have an opportunity to practice, the methods of identifying, evaluating and writing about historic places as diverse as a home, the corner gas station, a section of the Oregon Trail, a ranch, the university campus or an old mining site. We will examine historic preservation as a government and a private initiative, and evaluate the roles of individual citizens, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in the preservation of our built heritage.
The course includes assigned readings, research, threaded discussions and lectures which may be in the form of podcasts, videos or PowerPoint presentations. The basic textbook, Historic Preservation: An Introduction to its History, Principles, and Practice (Tyler et al), will be supplemented by articles and online sources such as the Library of Congress “Built in America” website. Students are encouraged to access the range of resources available on the internet, including virtual tours, blogs and online discussions, to expand their access to historic places nationwide. They will also conduct directed field work in their own communities, and share the results with their classmates through video or PowerPoint presentations. Examples of student projects might include an assessment of the state of historic preservation in a single community, the issues surrounding the preservation of a particular building type, such as train depots, barns or schools; or documentation of a local effort to save a community landmark.
Cultures of Nature in the U.S. looks at changing and conflicting ideas about nature and environment from before European contact to the present, through a variety of sources. Cross-listed with Gender and Women's Studies (WMST 3000), this course is attentive to how cultural backgrounds and the processes of identity formation --including gender, but also class, religion, and ethnicity-- are significant factors informing people's understandings of nature and environment over time. Students become familiar with major shifts and rifts in approaches to nature and understandings of environment in sciences as well as humanities and the arts. In final projects for the course, students explore areas of particular interest to them individually, in any medium or genre. Students in this course have explored topics ranging from the histories of their own disciplines and fields--in the sciences and engineering, for example-- to expressions of environmental ideals and experience through their own prose writing or visual arts pieces; they have also pursued projects addressing specific historical questions about religion and spirituality, sexuality, and regional identity in relation to ideas about nature and environment. This semester we have the chance to work with part of the library of the late Jack Temple Kirby, an environmental historian primarily of the American South, whose interests were international, interdisciplinary, and eclectic.
Graduate students are invited to participate in a closely-related, though more extensive reading list and project, through an independent study. Interested graduate students should contact me regarding a graduate-level approach to this course.
The purpose of this course is to apply the perspectives, methodologies, and writing skills of American Studies in venues outside the university. Extended case studies will include the Heart Mountain Relocation Center (including the newly-opened Interpretive Center) and civic programs in Laramie, such as the Laramie Plains Civic Center and the Laramie Main Street Program. During the course of the semester we will visit and/or discuss venues such as social service delivery agencies, museums, and archives, where interdisciplinary expertise can engage a larger public. These locations offer American Studies students opportunities to teach, become engaged in the civic realm, and participate in public culture. During the course we will also discuss grant writing and other methods for creating public projects. Graduate students will be expected to complete an extra project – a grant application or Web-based exhibit.
In discussions of Wyoming’s “custom and culture” two things that often come up are the public’s devotion to hunting and the affirmation of hunters’ rights. Although the opportunity and the inclination to hunt are dwindling in America overall, a hunting ethos has been woven into the national fabric from the beginning. Along with its expression in the living traditions of hunters today, this ethos deeply informs our cultural history – our literature, our art, our folklore, and our perceptions of nature. It has also contributed importantly to our constructions of masculinity. Of course hunting is the subject of considerable controversy as well. In this class the point will be neither to promote nor to condemn hunting, but to track some of the many hunting discourses that have contributed to the American experience. In keeping with American Studies principles, we well examine a wide array of primary material: records of indigenous hunting practices, accounts of hunting experience by notable hunters (e.g., Theodore Roosevelt), literary representations of hunting (Faulkner’s short stories and sections of Moby Dick), reflections on hunting by prominent essayists (from the collection A Hunter’s Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport), and popular culture depictions, ranging from 19th century penny press tales of the frontier hunter hero to modern refashionings of hunting mythologies (e.g., Jaws [book and film] and Michael Mann’s Manhunter). And not least important, discussion of students’ own experiences and attitudes, whether as hunters themselves or not, will be integral to this class. So, in sum, we will be exploring the range of American hunting cultures to “hunt culture” in a wider sense.
also listed in the University Course Catalog
1000. Cultures Of College: Why We Are Where We Are. 3. [F1, C2<>(none)] Introduces students to backgrounds, environments, assumptions that shape our experience of higher education. Two objectives: to familiarize first-year students with college experience through inquiry into meanings of campus, and to familiarize students with interdisciplinary study.
1030. Social Justice in the 21st Century. 3. [(none)<>I, D] Appropriate for students interested in diversity and social justice. Topics covered through an interdisciplinary study of people and society range from identity, critical thinking, empowerment, role models, stereotyping, institutional discrimination, and tolerance. The key lynchpin is active participation in the development and maintenance of just communities. Cross listed with AAST/AIST/WMST/CHST 1030. Enrollment preference will be given to We The People FIG students.
2010. Introduction to American Studies. 3. [C1,W2<>CH, WB] Introduces the interdisciplinary study of American culture. Focuses on themes, values and ideas which continue to reverberate through our cultural experience. (Offered at least once each year)
2110. Cultural Diversity in America. 3. [C2<>CS, D] Studies processes by which individuals and groups produce, maintain and express cultural identities in the U.S. Race, gender and ethnicity are addressed, emphasizing historical roots and social context of contemporary cultural varieties. (Offered one semester each year)
2400. Introduction to Historic Preservation. 3. Online course introduces students to historic preservation theory and philosophy, the history of the preservation movement and contemporary historic preservation as practiced in the public, nonprofit and private realms. Assignments include reading, research, online discussion and lectures (podcasts, videos or PowerPoint presentations), as well as directed field work. Prerequisites: none.
2700. Introduction to Museology. 3. [(none)<>CH] Explores the historical, cultural, and contemporary roles of museums and preservation institutions in society. Introduces students to the museum professions, collection and exhibition installation strategies, and ethical problems of governance and collection. Field trips to regional collections are included. Cross listed with AMST/ANTH/HIST 2700. Prerequisite: WA.
3000. Cultures of Nature in the United States. 3. [C1, W2<>(none)] Uses artistic, philosophical, historical and literary material to investigate how ideas about and representations of nature have changed over time in the U.S. Culminates in an examination of a wide range of contemporary environmental ideas within this broad historical and cultural context. Prerequisite: 2000-level course in one of the following departments: AMST, American history, American literature, or a 2000-level course approved for the ENR program. Cross listed with WMST 3000.
3100. Food in American Culture. 3. [(none)<>C] An interdisciplinary exploration of food as a medium of cultural expression, social interaction, and aesthetic experience in American life, both past and present. Examines food as, among other things, a symbolic system, a vehicle of social communication, and an arena for the performance of regional ethnic, gender, etc. identities. Prerequisite: any 2000-level course in American Studies, or ANTH 1200.
3400. Popular Music and Sexualities. 3. [(none)<>CH, D] Looks at ways in which popular music has intersected with sexual and gendered identities as a means and expression of both oppression and liberation. Cross listed with WMST 3400. Prerequisite: WA.
4010. Independent Study. 1‑3 (Max. 6). For upper division students in any major who can benefit from independent study in American Studies with minimal supervision. Dual listed with AMST 5010. Prerequisites: 3 hours in American Studies and approval of instructor.
4020. American Folklife. 3. Introduces materials and methods of folklife research, examining both verbal and nonverbal expressions of traditional cultures in America. Topics include material culture, belief systems, traditional events and celebrations, and folk performances of many kinds. Dual listed with AMST 5020. Prerequisite: Any six hours from among AMST 2010, 2110, ENGL 2400, AIST 2340, AAST 2450 2730, 3000, 3010. (Offered once each year)
4030. Ecology of Knowledge. 3. Examines the development of "disciplines" and explores definitions, theories, methods and practices of interdisciplinary work. Dual listed with AMST 5030. Prerequisite: 3 hours in any interdisciplinary program.
4051. Environmental Politics. 3. [C2, W3<>WC] Analyzes environmentalism as a political phenomenon. Provides a basic understanding of how to analyze political issues by: (1) examining the historical and contemporary issues that produce controversy over environmental matters; and (2) surveying the impacts of these issues on the formulation and implementation of laws, policies, and regulations. Cross listed with POLS, ENR, GEOG and REWM 4051. Prerequisite: POLS 1000.
4052. Federal Land Politics. 3. Examines the political forces that have shaped and continue to shape federal land policy and management. Explores the interactions between democratic decision making and science in the management of federal lands. Surveys the sources of controversy over federal land management and methods for harmonizing public demands with technical expertise. Cross listed with POLS/ENR/GEOG/REWM 4052. Prerequisite: POLS 1000.
4200. The Harlem Renaissance. 3. Examines the florescence of African American creativity, centered in Harlem, New York, between the end of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression. Cross listed with AAST 4200. Prerequisites: AAST 1000 and junior standing.
4250. The Harlem Renaissance. 3. Examines the florescence of African American creativity, centered in Harlem, New York, between the end of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression. This movement had a tremendous impact on African American culture in and outside of the U.S., including Africa and the Caribbean. Dual listed with AAST 5250; cross listed with AAST 4200. Prerequisites: CH and WB.
4300. American Culture and the Public Sector. 3. Surveys American culture studies in the public sector. Topics include history and theory of public sector humanities and social sciences; types of public sector jobs and institutions where public humanists work; and public sector work in specific disciplines, such as history, anthropology, folklore, archaeology and art history. Dual listed with AMST 5300. Prerequisite: 12 credits in humanities or social science courses having to do with American culture. (Offered once a year)
4500. American Civilization. 1‑8 (Max. 8). Explores various interdisciplinary approaches to the American experience, past and present. May include topical, thematic, historical, literary and cultural integrations; for a given semester, the course's precise focus will be indicated in the class schedule.
4546. Agriculture: Rooted in Diversity. 3. [(none)<>C, D] Addresses multiple themes related to diversity in agriculture with the goal of making visible the experiences of minorities and women in agriculture. Involves significant independent research, class discussion, project development, and development of oral and written communication skills. Establishes linkages with supporting disciplines. Cross listed with AGRI/AIST/CHST/ENGL/FCSC/HIST 4546. Prerequisites: junior class standing or consent of instructor and concurrent enrollment or major in any of the following: ethnic studies, agriculture, American studies, anthropology, English, history, sociology, or women's studies.
4640. Art and Ecology. 3. [C3, W3<>(none)] Focuses on the intersection of contemporary art with ecological concerns. Readings present philosophical, historical and cultural aspects of the art/ecology relationship; students reflect and question their own beliefs. Examples of art/artists are reviewed as well as how ecological artwork is developed. Students propose solutions and/or create art in, out of, or about the environment; local sites are encouraged. Prerequisite: 6 hours of ART and/or AMST or consent of the instructor.
4800. Historic Preservation. 3. Review of the roots of historic preservation in Western culture with an emphasis on the historical and legal context of architectural conservation in America. Current issues in preservation are examined through case studies and guest presentations. Dual listed with AMST 5800. Prerequisite: ARE 3020 or AMST 5400.
4900. Field Studies in Historic Preservation. 1-4 (Max. 4). [C1<>(none)] Acquaints students with current issues in historic preservation by visiting places of importance in U.S. and Europe. Agencies and institutions involved in building conservation provide specific expertise at sites visited. Prerequisite: 3 hours of architectural history or 6 hours of art history. (Offered based on sufficient demand and resources)
4970. Internship. 1-3 (Max. 6). Gives undergraduate students practical experience by working on a project at a public institution, agency or educational/cultural organization. Offered for S/U only. Prerequisites: junior standing, 3.0 GPA, completion of AMST 2010 and 12 hours in major with 3.25 GPA minimum in major and consent of instructor.
4985. Senior Seminar. 3. [W3<>WC] With AMST 4010 or 4970, completes the capstone coursework in AMST. Identifies a broad intellectual tradition in American Studies as foundation for student's research interests; builds a specific scholarly context appropriate to student's research; culminates in a substantial piece of written research appropriate in an identified subfield of American Studies. Prerequisite: senior standing in American studies or consent of program director.
5010. Independent Study. 1-6 (Max. 6). For graduate students in any graduate program who can benefit from independent research and writing in American Studies. Dual listed with AMST 4010. Prerequisites: 3 hours in American Studies and consent of instructor.
5020. American Follklife. 3. Introduces materials and methods of folklife research, examining both verbal and nonverbal expressions of traditional cultures in America. Topics include material culture, belief systems, traditional events and celebrations, and folk performances of many kinds. Dual listed with AMST 4020. Prerequisites: any six hours from among: AMST 2010, ENGL 2400, AIST 2340, AAST 2450, 2730, 3000 or 3010.
5030. Ecology of Knowledge. 3. Examines the development of "disciplines" and explores definitions, theories, methods and practices of interdisciplinary work. Dual listed with AMST 4030. Prerequisite: graduate status.
5200. Material Culture. 3. Designed to introduce advanced students to the theory, methods, and practice of material culture study. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to a studio exercise in which students collectively document and analyze a material culture form that has been designated by the instructors. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
5250. The Harlem Renaissance. 3. Examines the florescence of African American creativity, centered in Harlem, New York, between the end of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression. This movement had a tremendous impact on African American culture in and outside of the U.S., including Africa and the Caribbean. Dual listed with AMST 4250; cross listed with AAST 5200. Prerequisites: CH and WB.
5300. American Culture and the Public Sector. 3. A survey of American culture studies in the public sector. Topics covered include the history and theory of public sector humanities and social sciences, types of public sector jobs and institutions where public humanists work, and public sector work in specific disciplines such as history, anthropology, folklore, archaeology, and art history. Dual listed with AMST 4300. Prerequisite: graduate status.
5400. American Built Environment. 3. Examination of America's built environment from pre-Colonial times to the present day. Factors affecting the architecture and built form of a given period are discussed together with what the material legacy says about the culture of the period. Prerequisite: ARE 3020.
5500. Topics in American Studies. 3. Selected problems in the theory, practice, and bibliography of American studies. Required of graduate majors in the program and is recommended for students with an interdisciplinary interest in American Culture. Prerequisites: survey knowledge of American literature and history; graduate standing or consent of instructor.
5510. Readings in American Studies. 3. Selected readings in the theory, practice, and bibliography of American Studies. Surveys scholarship in the field and is designed to help graduate students develop thesis topics. Prerequisites: graduate standing in American studies or related field; consent of instructor.
5550. Varieties of Literary Evidence. 3. Selected problems in the use of literary evidence for American studies scholarship. Prerequisites: graduate standing in American studies or a related field; consent of instructor.
5560. Black Popular Culture. 3. Approaches African American popular culture from theoretical perspectives which include black feminist, postcolonial, and poststructuralist analyses. Cross listed with AAST 5560. Prerequisites: graduate standing; instructor consent for undergraduate students.
5800. Historic Preservation. 3. Review of the roots of historic preservation in Western culture with an emphasis on the historical and legal context of architectural conservation in America. Current issues in preservation are examined through case studies and guest presentations. Dual listed with AMST 4800. Prerequisite: ARE 3020 or AMST 5400.
5900. Practicum in College Teaching. 1-3 (Max. 3). Work in classroom with a major professor. Expected to give some lectures and gain classroom experience. Prerequisite: graduate status.
5920. Continuing Registration: On Campus. 1-2 (Max. 16). Prerequisite: advanced degree candidacy.
5940. Continuing Registration: Off Campus. 1-2 (Max. 16). Prerequisite: advanced degree candidacy.
5959. Enrichment Studies. 1-3 (Max. 99). Designed to provide an enrichment experience in a variety of topics. Note: Credit in this course may not be included in a graduate program of study for degree purposes.
5960. Thesis Research. 1-12 (Max. 24). Graduate level course designed for students who are involved in research for their thesis project. Also used for students whose coursework is complete and are writing their thesis. Prerequisites: enrolled in a graduate degree program.
5990. Internship. 1-12 (Max. 24). Prerequisite: graduate standing.