American Studies (2020 - 2022)
Social and Cultural Analysis 101
SCA-UA 101 Offered every year. 4 points.
Introduces theories, methods, and political trajectories central to the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA). SCA addresses how individuals and populations structure their worlds and navigate the resulting social, cultural, and political terrain. It privileges scholarly work with an intersectional approach, drawing on theoretical insights from such fields as social geography, feminism and queer studies, ethnic studies, urban and metropolitan studies, critical race theory, labor studies, and cultural studies.
Approaches to American Studies
SCA-UA 201 Offered every fall. 4 points.
Serves as a gateway to lines of inquiry and analysis currently animating interdisciplinary study of “America” and as an opportunity to relate current debates to their historical contexts. Key themes: The role of broad historical forces including capitalism, empire, settler colonialism and nationalism, and of social formations including race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, and citizenship; the US in global/transnational context; labor, migration, urbanism and social protest, and popular culture and the culture industries.
Intersections: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. History
SCA-UA 230 4 points.
Examines how gender, race, and sexuality shaped cultural and political policies and debates in such case studies as the Salem witch trials; slavery, abolition, and lynching; U.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico and Hawaii; the politics of welfare and reproduction; cultural constructions of manliness, masculinity, and citizenship; and responses to the AIDS pandemic in a global context.
Advanced Research Seminar
SCA-UA 90 Prerequisite: either Social and Cultural Analysis 101 (SCA-UA 101) or Intersections: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. History (SCA-UA 230). Offered every semester. 4 points.
Students write a 20-25 page research paper with a focus on a specific research method. Topics vary by semester; see Albert for details.
Senior Honors Seminar
SCA-UA 92 Prerequisites: 3.65 GPA or higher (both overall and in the major), Social and Cultural Analysis 101 (SCA-UA 101), Intersections: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. History (SCA-UA 230), and permission of the department. Offered every fall. 4 points.
Senior Honors Thesis
SCA-UA 93 Prerequisites: Senior Honors Seminar (SCA-UA 92), 3.65 GPA or higher (both overall and in the major), and permission of the department. Offered every spring. 4 points.
SCA Theory and Practice: The Internship Program
The 4-point internship program complements and enhances the formal course work of American studies majors. Students intern at agencies dealing with a range of issues pertaining to their major and take a corequisite seminar that enables them to focus the work experience in meaningful academic terms. The goals of the internship are threefold: (1) to allow students to apply the theory that they have gained through course work, (2) to provide students with analytical tools, and (3) to assist students in their exploration of professional career paths. The internship program is open to juniors and seniors and requires an application, an interview, and permission of the department.
SCA Theory and Practice: The Internship Program
SCA-UA 42 Requires ten hours a week of fieldwork. Offered every spring. 4 points.
Comparative U.S. Ethnic Studies
SCA-UA 224 4 points.
Serves as an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity in the United States and to the range of identities and issues inherent in American culture. No previous knowledge of ethnic studies is presumed.
Ethnicity and the Media
SCA-UA 232 Identical to ANTH-UA 232. 4 points.
Surveys theoretical approaches to the study of images, paying particular attention to the intersection of history and ideologies or representation. Examines the nature and politics of stereotypes and their reproduction through discourses, representations, and practices. Media representations of four minority groups—African American, Asian, Latino, and Native American.
Cultures and Economies
SCA-UA 234 4 points.
Considers the cultural construction of "the economy" and the economic basis for cultural practices and policies. Examines the 20th century evolution from the rise of corporate capitalism, through the Depression and the New Deal, to the rise and challenges of neoliberal policy shifts, financialization, and accelerated globalization since the 1970s. Particular focus on the dynamics of "crisis," both as an economic and as a cultural phenomenon.
The Criminal Justice State
SCA-UA 235 4 points.
Explores the political and institutional origins of the American carceral state from the early 20th century to today. Reviews current political, institutional and societal developments arising from the expansion of the carceral state. Explores political and institutional responses to “moral panics” engendered by immigration, race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Examines policies such as felon disenfranchisement, private prisons and detention centers, and proposed criminal justice reforms.
Race and the American Right
SCA-UA 236 4 points.
The rise of the modern conservative movement in America and the central role that race has played in shaping the strategies, rhetoric, and policies of the modern right since the middle of the 20th century. Topics: electoral realignment and the Southern Strategy, the Trump phenomenon, the religious right, the rise of right-wing women, and the growing role of Latino and African American conservatives within the GOP.
Social Movements and Alternative Futures
SCA-UA 237 4 points.
Examines the political dreams of alternative futures emerging from various social movements both past and present. Considers the specific conditions leading to desires for transformation while questioning how the aims of differently marginalized groups can collide with one another. Topics: Indigenous movements, anticolonial movements, queer futurity, the black radical tradition, Asian American movements, and Occupy Wall Street.
Disabilities and Sexuality in American Culture
SCA-UA 238 4 points.
Examines major strands of disability theory, relating them to and understanding them through disability history, lived experience, activist movements, and cultural production. Analyzes cultural meanings of disability and ability in mainstream and independent film, television, memoir, popular literature, and stand-up comedy. Through the lenses of queer, disability, and feminist theory, we not only interrogate the issue of sexuality in the lives of people with disabilities, but also think critically about the role of disability in constructing norms of gender and sexuality.
Couture/Culture: Fashion and Globalization
SCA-UA 253 4 points.
Explores fashion's contested histories; its modes of production, consumption, and address; and its relationship to colonial enterprises. Topics (considered against the background of globalization) include the social uses of fashion; the fashion cycle (use, reuse, discard); the relationship between dress and the body; feminist critiques of fashion; the politicization of clothing (from ethnic dressing to green clothing); and the links between style consumption and garment production.
Topics in American Studies
SCA-UA 280 4 points.
In-depth study of a particular problem or research area within American studies. See course schedule for current topic.
The following courses count as faculty electives toward the American studies major and minor. See the departmental or program sections in this Bulletin for course descriptions and prerequisites.
Race, Football, and American Culture
SCA-UA 153 4 points.
The Black Body and the Lens
SCA-UA 155 4 points.
Hip Hop and Politics
SCA-UA 157 4 points.
Race and Reproduction
SCA-UA 158 4 points.
Language and Liberation: At Home in the Caribbean and Abroad
SCA-UA 163 Identical to LING-UA 26. 4 points.
The Postcolonial City
SCA-UA 166 4 points.
SCA-UA 306 4 points.
Filming Asian America: Documenting Community
SCA-UA 361 4 points.
The Constitution and People of Color
SCA-UA 366 Offered every year. 4 points.
Reading Race and Representation
SCA-UA 368 4 points.
Critical Indigenous Theory and Settler Colonialism
SCA-UA 372 4 points.
Food, Land, and Power
SCA-UA 375 4 points.
Topics in A/P/A Studies
SCA-UA 380 Offered every semester. 4 points.
Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies: The Politics of Indigeneity
SCA-UA 747 Identical to ANTH-UA 747, HIST-UA 747. 4 points.
May only count as an SCA faculty elective when taught by departmental faculty.
GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES
SCA-UA 421 4 points.
SCA-UA 450 4 points.
Gender and Performance
SCA-UA 455 4 points.
Theories of Gender and Sexuality
SCA-UA 472 4 points.
SCA-UA 475 4 points.
Gender, Globalization, and Politics of KPOP
SCA-UA 476 4 points.
SCA-UA 481 4 points.
SCA-UA 482 4 points.
Topics in Gender and Sexuality Studies
SCA-UA 493 Offered every semester. 4 points.
Latino/a Art and Performance in New York City
SCA-UA 532 4 points.
Latinx Art and Visual Culture
SCA-UA 533 4 points.
Latino/a Popular Culture
SCA-UA 534 4 points.
The Latinized City
SCA-UA 540 4 points.
Topics in Latino Studies
SCA-UA 541 Offered every semester. 4 points.
SCA-UA 542 Offered every fall. 4 points.
Latina Feminist Studies
SCA-UA 548 4 points.
NAFTA and Narcos
SCA-UA 562 Colloquium. 4 points.
Afro-Latino Culture and History
SCA-UA 565 4 points.
Caribbean Women Writers
SCA-UA 570 4 points.
Postmodern Travel Fictions
SCA-UA 572 4 points.
Cities in a Global Context
SCA-UA 602 4 points.
Urban Cultural Life
SCA-UA 608 4 points.
Law and Urban Problems
SCA-UA 610 4 points.
SCA-UA 613 4 points.
Race and the Neoliberal Metropolis
SCA-UA 614 4 points.
SCA-UA 615 4 points.
New York City in Film
SCA-UA 623 4 points.
Landscapes of Consumption
SCA-UA 625 4 points.
Cinema and Urbanism
SCA-UA 626 4 points.
SCA-UA 631 4 points.
Climate Change and Environmental Justice
SCA-UA 632 4 points.
Topics in Metropolitan Studies
SCA-UA 680 Offered every year. 4 points.