American Inquiries

 

California Culture at Mid-Century

Fredman

Stephen Fredman
Section 04 (CRN 12483) TR 12:30-1:45 

This course explores how the arts in California at mid-century created a culture that through the Beats and the Hippies became a national and international force. We will look at painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction, film, music, history, and memoir, asking what is the proper relationship between art and life.

Labor, Race, and the Struggle for Dignity

April 15, 1967

Martin Wolfson
Section 22 (CRN 12500) TR 11:00-12:15

urse will examine the lives of workers and the lives of people of color in America. It will examine their struggles for dignity and respect, especially as they come together in our nation's workplaces. The perspective will be on people's own stories about the conditions of their daily lives, as expressed in nonfiction, novels, films, and oral histories. The course will also examine the methods that have been used to struggle for dignity, especially the roles of unions and nonviolent campaigns.

The content of the course will focus on three areas: 1) the African-American civil rights movement, especially as it linked up with workers' lives in the campaign of the Memphis sanitation workers in 1968; 2) the Farmworkers' campaign, led by Cesar Chavez, and influenced by the philosophy of nonviolent direct action of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and 3) the struggles of workers in the meatpacking industry, as representative of current labor developments, and especially as related to the issues of interracial conflict and unity.

A requirement of the course is to conduct an oral history with a worker and/or person of color, to understand their life experiences in the context of the issues discussed in the course.  

This course will examine the lives of workers and the lives of people of color in America. It will examine their struggles for dignity and respect, especially as they come together in our nation's workplaces. The perspective will be on people's own stories about the conditions of their daily lives, as expressed in nonfiction, novels, films, and oral histories. The course will also examine the methods that have been used to struggle for dignity, especially the roles of unions and nonviolent campaigns.

The content of the course will focus on three areas: 1) the African-American civil rights movement, especially as it linked up with workers' lives in the campaign of the Memphis sanitation workers in 1968; 2) the Farmworkers' campaign, led by Cesar Chavez, and influenced by the philosophy of nonviolent direct action of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and 3) the struggles of workers in the meatpacking industry, as representative of current labor developments, and especially as related to the issues of interracial conflict and unity.

A requirement of the course is to conduct an oral history with a worker and/or person of color, to understand their life experiences in the context of the issues discussed in the course.  

 

This course will examine the lives of workers and the lives of people of color in America. It will examine their struggles for dignity and respect, especially as they come together in our nation's workplaces. The perspective will be on people's own stories about the conditions of their daily lives, as expressed in nonfiction, novels, films, and oral histories. The course will also examine the methods that have been used to struggle for dignity, especially the roles of unions and nonviolent campaigns.

The content of the course will focus on three areas: 1) the African-American civil rights movement, especially as it linked up with workers' lives in the campaign of the Memphis sanitation workers in 1968; 2) the Farmworkers' campaign, led by Cesar Chavez, and influenced by the philosophy of nonviolent direct action of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and 3) the struggles of workers in the meatpacking industry, as representative of current labor developments, and especially as related to the issues of interracial conflict and unity.

A requirement of the course is to conduct an oral history with a worker and/or person of color, to understand their life experiences in the context of the issues discussed in the course.

Live and Let Diet: Nutritional Advice in America

Diet

Matthew Doppke
Section (CRN 14470) TR 9:30-10:45 

Nutritional advice has, until quite recently, rarely been sound.  However, questions about what and how to eat have always been rich in cultural, economic and even political connotations.  This course examines significant food and healthy eating movements in the United States since 1900, each of which provides a window into evolving ideas of citizenship, the intersection of race, class and gender, and outright partisan conflict.   We start with misguided efforts to “Americanize” the cooking of immigrant women in turn-of-century urban America.  We then proceed to the birth of the organic and health food movement with the 1960’s challenge to food processors and American culinary mediocrity, and conclude with the fresh and local world of Michael Pollan.

Minority Experience In American Education

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Maria McKenna
Section 11 (CRN 12489) MW 11:45-1:00

Question: What are the implications (past, present, and future) of being a minority in the context of the American education system?  Clearly, since not all minority experiences within American education are the same we will explore together what factors impact minority experiences in education.  We will examine the social, political, and cultural contexts of different minority groups and geographic areas of the country with an eye towards the implications these contexts have on education.  Remaining true to the purpose and format of the College Seminar, we will explore different “texts” (literature, art, music, film, non-fiction) in a primarily oral fashion.  Guest speakers will also be a part of the course.  Classic works by the following authors might be included: Anna J. Cooper, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B DuBois, and contemporaries Laurie Olson, Sandra Cisneros, Jean Anyon, and Gloria Ladston-Billings.    

Science Fiction in an American Key

paulette_curtis

Paulette Curtis
Section 16 (CRN 19393) TR 5:00-6:15 

As a speculative genre, Science Fiction (SF) is concerned with the strange, the unknown and the nearly implausible.  Nevertheless, it takes its cues from contemporary culture and society.   This course will explore the ways that American SF reveals the societal attitudes, ideals, desires and anxieties that are peculiar to an American world view.   The specific goal of this seminar is to give students the tools that social scientists use to dissect it as the richly textured social document that it is.

Sustainability and Equity in American Agriculture and FoodSustainability

Matthew Doppke
Section 02 (CRN 12481) TR 12:30-1:45 

This course examines contemporary issues in the politics and economics of agriculture.

Topics include conventional animal architecture, sustainable and organic agriculture, and efforts to build alternative food systems. Visits and guest-led discussions also examine campus food issues and the local retail sector.