Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Spring 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
AMST1101 Introduction to American Studies This course provides an introduction to interdisciplinary considerations of American culture. Specific topics change from year to year and may include: food and nature, broadly defined; the transformation of gendered public and private spheres; indigenous, immigrant, and racialized cultures and countercultures; industrialization and the struggles over labor; the rise of leisure; the relationship between politics and culture; and the development of consumer culture. These themes will be examined through a variety of media, such as literature, historical writing, menus, music, art, film, architecture, etc. The course will also give attention to the many methods through which scholars have, over time, developed the discipline of American Studies.

Full details for AMST 1101 - Introduction to American Studies

Spring.
AMST1500 Introduction to Africana Studies This course offers an introduction to the study of Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean and other diasporas.  This course will examine, through a range of disciplines, among them literature, history, politics, philosophy, the themes - including race/racism, the Middle Passage, sexuality, colonialism, and culture - that have dominated Africana Studies since its inception in the late-1960s. We will explore these issues in the attempt to understand how black lives have been shaped, in a historical sense; and, of course, the effects of these issues in the contemporary moment. This course seeks to introduce these themes, to investigate through one or more of the disciplines relevant to the question, and to provide a broad understanding of the themes so as to enable the kind of intellectual reflection critical to Africana Studies.

Full details for AMST 1500 - Introduction to Africana Studies

Fall, Spring.
AMST1540 American Capitalism This course studies the history of American capitalism. It helps you to answer these questions: What is capitalism? Is the U.S. more capitalist than other countries? How has capitalism shaped the history of the United States? Has it been a force for freedom, or is it a system of exploitation? What is its future? Through lectures, readings, and discussions, we'll give you the tools to win all your future arguments about capitalism, pro and con. And we won't even charge you the full market price.

Full details for AMST 1540 - American Capitalism

Spring.
AMST1601 Indigenous Issues in Global Perspectives This course attends to the contemporary issues, contexts and experiences of Indigenous peoples. Students will develop a substantive understanding of colonialism and engage in the parallels and differences of its histories, forms, and effects on Indigenous peoples globally. Contemporary Indigenous theorists, novelists, visual artists and historians have a prominent place in the course, highlighting social/environmental philosophies, critical responses to and forms of resistance toward neocolonial political and economic agendas and the fundamental concern for Indigenous self determination, among other topics.

Full details for AMST 1601 - Indigenous Issues in Global Perspectives

Spring, Summer.
AMST1820 U.S. Borders, North and South The borders that separate the United States from Canada and Mexico are among the longest in the world. The southern border with Mexico receives a disproportionate amount of attention from policymakers, journalists, and artists, while our northern border is largely unfamiliar to most Americans. This course offers a necessary corrective: a comparative examination of these two North American borderlands, from their 16th-to-18th century colonial antecedents to contemporary challenges related to commerce, environmentalism, indigenous rights, immigration, border fence construction, drug smuggling, and pandemic-related travel restrictions. The course demonstrates that both the US-Mexico and US-Canada border zones have been, and remain, sites of conflict and cooperation, nationalism and globalization, sovereignty and subordination.

Full details for AMST 1820 - U.S. Borders, North and South

Spring.
AMST1951 Foreign Policy as Subversion To what extent does the ideal of the US as a vanguard for democracy and freedom in the world match up with other aspects—military, economic, and humanitarian—of US foreign policy? This same question about the degree to which discourses and practices correspond might be asked of other countries, like the Soviet Union, China, and Britain, but this course examines the ways in which US foreign policy has been deployed over the course of the twentieth century and the ways those policies have been perceived and received by people living in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Particular case studies will be addressed stemming from the faculty's specializations (for example, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Chile) and the emphasis is on the role of the United States in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Prominent themes will include forms of subversion, from military muscle to economic coercion, and how and why they have changed over time; meanings of liberty, democracy, freedom, and sovereignty in different places and times; popular responses to policies and actions of foreign administrations; the relationships between sovereign states and transnational corporations; the uses and abuses of History in the formulation and justification of policy initiatives and in local responses to them; and the complexities involved in discerning internal and external forces in an increasingly transnational world.

Full details for AMST 1951 - Foreign Policy as Subversion

Spring.
AMST2000 Introduction to Visual Studies This course provides an introduction to modes of vision and the historical impact of visual images, visual structures, and visual space on culture, communication, and politics. It examines all aspects of culture that communicate through visual means, including 20th-century visual technologies—photography, cinema, video, etc., and their historical corollaries. The production and consumption of images, objects, and events is studied in diverse cultures. Students develop the critical skills necessary to appreciate how the approaches that define visual studies complicate traditional models of defining and analyzing art objects.

Full details for AMST 2000 - Introduction to Visual Studies

Spring.
AMST2001 The First American University Educational historian Frederick Rudolph called Cornell University "the first American university," referring to its unique role as a coeducational, nonsectarian, land-grant institution with a broad curriculum and diverse student body. In this course, we will explore the history of Cornell, taking as our focus the pledge of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White to found a university where "any person can find instruction in any study." The course will cover a wide range of topics and perspectives relating to the faculty, student body, evolution of campus, and important events and eras in Cornell history. Stories and vignettes will provide background on the current university and its administrative structure, campus traditions, and the names that adorn buildings and memorials throughout campus. Finally, the course will offer a forum for students to address questions on present-day aspects of the university.

Full details for AMST 2001 - The First American University

Spring.
AMST2092 A History of Human Trafficking in the Atlantic World, ca. 1400-1800 According to the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the U.S. State Department, 24.9 million people worldwide are currently the victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. This upper-division course explores the roots of this modern crisis, focusing on human trafficking and slavery in the early modern Atlantic world, a region that encompasses Western Europe, the Americas, and Western Africa. Slavery and human trafficking in this region involved the interactions of three cultural groups, European, African, and American Indian, but within those broad categories were hundreds of different cultural, linguistic, and ethnic groups. Through readings focused on the conditions and cultures of slavery in the western hemisphere from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries, the course will explore how slavery was defined, who was vulnerable to enslavement, what slavery meant socially and legally in different times and places across the Atlantic world, and why human trafficking and forced labor continued well past the legal abolition of transatlantic slavery. The course is divided into five parts: an introductory section on definitions of slavery and human trafficking, followed by sections on American Indian slavery, African slavery in West Africa and the Americas, servitude and captivity in the Atlantic world, and concluding with an analysis of the legacies of early modern slavery today.

Full details for AMST 2092 - A History of Human Trafficking in the Atlantic World, ca. 1400-1800

Spring.
AMST2106 Introduction to Latinx Studies This course is an introduction to Latina/o Studies, an interdisciplinary field of knowledge production that focuses on historical, sociopolitical, cultural, and economic experiences of Latinx peoples in the United States—both as a nation and as a geopolitical location in a larger world. We will survey and analyze the arts, histories, cultures, politics, and sociological landscapes of Puerto Ricans, Dominican Americans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, Central Americans, as well as other Latinx peoples who have made communities within the United States for centuries, and who are part of Latinx diasporas. Intersections of U.S. Latinx identities are also explored in this course by asking questions related to the fields housed within Latina/o Studies: How is Latina/o/x identity defined and performed? What does the use of an 'x' in Latinx mean or do? How do histories of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. impact one's Latina/o/x identity?  Many of these questions will be answered by using scholarship produced by the Latina/o Studies Program faculty at Cornell, familiarizing students with the breadth of research and expertise of program.

Full details for AMST 2106 - Introduction to Latinx Studies

Fall.
AMST2152 (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now One in ten residents of the United States was born outside the country. These people include international students, temporary workers, refugees, asylees, permanent residents, naturalized U.S. citizens and undocumented migrants. The arrival of these newcomers affects the cultural, economic, political and social dynamics of the country. Since immigration shows no signs of slowing down—in the United States or in many other nations of the world—the causes, consequences and repercussions of immigration will be one of the most important topics of the 21- century. Therefore this class will examine the history and contemporary role of immigration in the U.S. political system. The class will focus on two aspects of immigration: First, a historical examination of immigration policy from the founding of the country all the way forward to the current debate over immigration reform. Second, we will evaluate and assess the political incorporation and political participation of immigrant groups in the U.S. and determine whether immigrants are being incorporated, and if not, why? We will reflect on many important questions including the costs and benefits of immigration, issues related to civil rights and civil liberties, and finally propose our own ideas and solutions to the current immigration reform debate.

Full details for AMST 2152 - (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now

Spring.
AMST2160 Television In this introductory course, participants will study the economic and technological history of the television industry, with a particular emphasis on its manifestations in the United States and the United Kingdom; the changing shape of the medium of television over time and in ever-wider global contexts; the social meanings, political stakes, and ideological effects of the medium; and the major methodological tools and critical concepts used in the interpretation of the medium, including Marxist, feminist, queer, and postcolonial approaches. Two to three hours of television viewing per week will be accompanied by short, sometimes dense readings, as well as written exercises.

Full details for AMST 2160 - Television

Spring.
AMST2354 African American Visions of Africa This seminar examines some of the political and cultural visions of Africa and Africans held by African-American intellectuals and activists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Emphasis is placed on the philosophies of black nationalism, Pan Africanism and anticolonialism and the themes of emigration, expatriation, repatriation and exile. Awareness of Africa and attitudes toward the continent and its peoples have profoundly shaped African-American identity, culture and political consciousness. Notions of a linked fate between Africans and black Americans have long influenced black life and liberation struggles within the U.S. The motives, purposes and outlooks of African-American theorists who have claimed political, cultural, or spiritual connection to Africa and Africans have varied widely, though they have always powerfully reflected black experiences in America and in the West. The complexity and dynamism of those views belie simplistic assumptions about essential or "natural" relationships, and invite critical contemplation of the myriad roles that Africa has played in the African-American mind."

Full details for AMST 2354 - African American Visions of Africa

Spring.
AMST2391 From Terra Incognita to Territories of Nation-States: Early American History in Two Dozen Maps This course engages the rich cartographic record of colonial North America via an in-depth analysis of two dozen iconic maps.  Integrating visual and textual analysis, students will assess human representations of space across cultural boundaries, explore change over time in the mapmaking practices of indigenous peoples and various European intruders, and study the evolving relationship between cartography and power, attending particularly to the process by which mapping promoted a revolutionary new understanding of American geography as composed of the bounded territories of nation-states.

Full details for AMST 2391 - From Terra Incognita to Territories of Nation-States: Early American History in Two Dozen Maps

Spring.
AMST2460 Contemporary Narratives by Latina Writers This course will provide an introduction to some of the most important fictional work by US Latina writers, including short stories, novel, and film, with a particular focus on social justice, gender advocacy work, and work by Afro Latinx writers.  We will begin with discussion of canonical figures like Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga, to provide a basis for our focus on more recent writers like Angie Cruz, Elizabeth Acevedo, Linda Yvette Chávez, and Carmen Maria Machado.

Full details for AMST 2460 - Contemporary Narratives by Latina Writers

AMST2512 Black Women in the 20th Century This course focuses on African American women in the 20th century. The experiences of black women will be examined from a social, practical, communal, and gendered perspective. Topics include the Club Woman's movement, suffrage, work, family, black and white women and feminism, black women and radicalism, and the feminization of poverty.

Full details for AMST 2512 - Black Women in the 20th Century

Spring.
AMST2581 Environmental History This lecture course serves as an introduction to the historical study of humanity's interrelationship with the natural world. Environmental history is a quickly evolving field, taking on increasing importance as the environment itself becomes increasingly important in world affairs. During this semester, we'll examine the sometimes unexpected ways in which "natural" forces have shaped human history (the role of germs, for instance, in the colonization of North America); the ways in which human beings have shaped the natural world (through agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization, as well as the formation of things like wildlife preserves); and the ways in which cultural, scientific, political, and philosophical attitudes toward the environment have changed over time. This is designed as an intensely interdisciplinary course: we'll view history through the lenses of ecology, literature, art, film, law, anthropology, and geography. Our focus will be on the United States, but, just as environmental pollutants cross borders, so too will this class, especially toward the end, when we attempt to put U.S. environmental history into a geopolitical context. This course is meant to be open to all, including non-majors and first-year students.

Full details for AMST 2581 - Environmental History

Spring.
AMST2620 Introduction to Asian American Literature This course will introduce both a variety of writings by Asian North American authors and some critical issues concerning the production and reception of Asian American texts. Working primarily with novels, we will be asking questions about the relation between literary forms and the socio-historical context within which they take on their meanings, and about the historical formation of Asian American identities.

Full details for AMST 2620 - Introduction to Asian American Literature

Spring.
AMST2675 Cultures of the Cold War This class aims to approach the literature and culture of the Cold War as the birth of the present "Age of Information," as well as the origin of modern notions of privacy that are now being superseded. We will begin with Hiroshima and the several forms of American anti-communism, and proceed from "containment culture" to the beginning of the counterculture, and from atomic weapons to the start of the environmental movement. Units of study will include intelligence (espionage), advertising (publicity), civil rights, and the public questioning of gender roles.  We will also view a few films and discuss music and painting of the period. Authors include James Baldwin, Sylvia Plath, Marshall McLuhan, John Okada, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, Patricia Highsmith, and Rachel Carson.

Full details for AMST 2675 - Cultures of the Cold War

Spring.
AMST2710 America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education This course is a blending of the Sociology of Education and Public Policy. Front and center in this course is the question of why consistent differential educational and economic outcomes exists in American society. We explore the broad sociological functions of schooling (socialization, sorting, caretaking, training) as well as local, state, and federal policies and court decisions.

Full details for AMST 2710 - America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education

Spring.
AMST2722 History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States This course examines the history of mental illness—its conception and treatment—in the United States, from the early 1800s to the present, focusing on four major questions: (1) How have understandings of mental illness been developed and deployed by psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and social workers, and how have those understandings varied across time and place? (2) How have understandings and treatments of mental illness shaped, and been shaped by, conceptions of race, class, gender, and sexuality? (3) In what ways have treatment of mental illness and "social deviance" operated as a form of social control? (4) How do conceptions of mental illness come to circulate in popular culture and everyday life? Pairing historical scholarship with autobiographical writing and case studies from the 1800s to the present, the course moves chronologically in order to track, and draw connections between, a wide range of movements within American psychological and social welfare history, including the creation and closing of mental hospitals, the pathologization of racial, gender, and sexual difference, psychopharmacology, anti-psychiatry, and the politics of diagnosis.

Full details for AMST 2722 - History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States

Spring.
AMST2729 From the Swampy Land: Indigenous People of the Ithaca Area Who lived in the Ithaca area before American settlers and Cornell arrived? Where do these indigenous peoples reside today? This class explores the history and culture of the Gayogoho:no (Cayuga), which means people from the mucky land. We will read perspectives by indigenous authors, as well as archaeologists and historians, about past and current events, try to understand reasons why that history has been fragmented and distorted by more recent settlers, and delve into primary sources documenting encounters between settlers and the Gayogoho:no. We will also strive to understand the ongoing connections of the Gayogoho:no to this region despite forced dispossession and several centuries of colonialist exclusion from these lands and waters. 

Full details for AMST 2729 - From the Swampy Land: Indigenous People of the Ithaca Area

Spring.
AMST2735 Children's Literature An historical study of children's literature from the 17th century to the present, principally in Europe and America, which will explore changing literary forms in relation to the social history of childhood. Ranging from oral folktale to contemporary novelistic realism (with some glances at film narrative), major figures may include Perrault, Newbery, the Grimms, Andersen, Carroll, Alcott, Stevenson, Burnett, Kipling, the Disney studio, E. B. White, C. S. Lewis, Sendak, Silverstein, Mildred Taylor, and Bette Greene. We'll also encounter a variety of critical models—psychoanalytic, materialist, feminist, structuralist—that scholars have employed to explain the variety and importance of children's literature. Finally, we will consider how the idea of "the child" has evolved over this period.

Full details for AMST 2735 - Children's Literature

Spring.
AMST2751 Introduction to Humanities These seminars offer an introduction to the humanities by exploring historical, cultural, social, and political themes. Students will explore themes in critical dialogue with a range of texts and media drawn from the arts, humanities, and/or humanistic social sciences. Guest speakers, including Cornell faculty and Society for the Humanities Fellows, will present from different disciplines and points of view. Students will make field trips to relevant local sites and visit Cornell special collections and archives. Students enrolled in these seminars will have the opportunity to participate in additional programming related to the annual focus theme of Cornell's Society for the Humanities and the Humanities Scholars Program for undergraduate humanities research.

Full details for AMST 2751 - Introduction to Humanities

AMST2790 Jewish Films and Filmmakers: Hollywood and Beyond What does it mean to call a film is "Jewish"? Does it have to represent Jewish life? Does it have to feature characters identifiable as Jews? If artists who identify as Jews—actors, directors, screenwriters, composers—play significant roles in a film's production does that make it Jewish? Our primary point of entry into these questions will be Hollywood, from the industry's early silent films, through the period generally considered classical, down to the present day. We will also study films produced overseas, in countries that may include Israel, Egypt, France, Italy, and Germany. Our discussions will be enriched by contextual material drawn from film studies, cultural studies, Jewish studies, American studies, and other related fields. Students will be expected to view a significant number of films outside of class—an average of one per week—and engage with them through writing and in-class discussion. The directors, screenwriters, composers, and actors whose work we will study may include: Charlie Chaplin, Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Billy Wilder, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Aviva Kempner, Joan Micklin Silver, the Marx Brothers, and the Coen Brothers.

Full details for AMST 2790 - Jewish Films and Filmmakers: Hollywood and Beyond

Spring.
AMST3071 Enduring Global and American Issues The US and the global community face a number of complex, interconnected and enduring issues that pose challenges for our political and policy governance institutions and society at large.  Exploring how the US and the world conceive of the challenges and take action on them is fundamental to understanding them.  This course investigates such issues, especially ones that fit into the critically important areas of sustainability, social justice, technology, public health and globalization, security and conflict, among others. Students will engage with these areas and issues and the challenges they pose, using multiple frameworks and approaches, through weekly class discussions and lectures."

Full details for AMST 3071 - Enduring Global and American Issues

Fall, Spring, Summer.
AMST3072 The U.S. Constitution: Crisis, Change and Legitimacy Since its ratification the U.S. Federal Constitution has been a fixed element of the American experience. And yet the meaning Americans attribute to the document—from its structural and rights provisions to its basic ethical project—has been subject to intense debate and change. This class takes an historical approach to explore periods of sustained crisis in the constitutional order—from the founding and the Civil War to the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement. In the process, special attention will be paid to the techniques of constitutional interpretation and judicial doctrine as well as to constitutional struggle outside the judiciary. We will also assess broader questions of inclusion, democratic legitimacy, and institutional design. The course will end by engaging with the relationship between the present and those earlier periods of crisis.

Full details for AMST 3072 - The U.S. Constitution: Crisis, Change and Legitimacy

Spring.
AMST3122 Democracy The United States has been widely associated with democratic ideals, and yet American democracy has been long in the making, even in recent decades retaining hallmarks of an "unfinished work." It has evolved over time through an arduous and halting process, and it has not always moved in the direction of progress. How would we know if American democracy today was truly endangered and subject to "backsliding?" This course engages this question by grappling with what democracy means, how we can measure its attributes, and how we can assess whether they are robust or deteriorating. We focus on four key threats to democracy: political polarization; conflict over membership and status, particularly around race and gender; economic inequality; and the growth of executive power. We will consider the status of of free and fair elections, the rule of law, the legitimacy of the opposition, and the integrity of rights, including voting rights, civil rights, and civil liberties, studying how these features have developed historically and what happened in periods when they were under threat. We will also evaluate the contemporary political context by applying the same analytical tools.

Full details for AMST 3122 - Democracy

Spring.
AMST3131 The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law A general-education course to acquaint students with how our legal system pursues the goals of society. The course introduces students to various perspectives on the nature of law, what functions it ought to serve in society, and what it can and cannot accomplish. The course proceeds in the belief that such matters constitute a valuable and necessary part of a general education, not only for pre-law students but especially for students in other fields. Assigned readings comprise legal materials and also secondary sources on the legal process and the role of law in society. The classes include discussion and debate about current legal and social issues, including equality, safety, the environment, punishment, and autonomy.

Full details for AMST 3131 - The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law

Spring.
AMST3185 Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk This course explores the history, sociology, and ethics of risk. In particular, we will focus on the complex and often ambiguous relationship between science, technology, and risk. A historical perspective shows how science and technology have generated risks while they have also played key roles in managing and solving those very risks. By examining several case studies, including 19th-century mining, the 1911 Triangle fire, nuclear science, the space shuttle disasters, asbestos litigation, Hurricane Katrina, and the contemporary financial crisis, we will consider how risk and ideas about risk have changed over time. By exploring different historical and cultural responses to risk, we will examine the sociopolitical dimensions of the definitions, perceptions, and management of risk both in the past and the present.

Full details for AMST 3185 - Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk

Spring.
AMST3262 The US Regime in Comparative and Historical Perspective This course approaches the study of the United States' political institutions and social cleavages from the perspective of comparative politics, historical political economy, and historical institutionalism. It is organized around core themes in each of these literatures, using the theories and concepts developed there to better explain particular features of the United States' politics and historical development. Topics covered include democratization, subnational authoritarianism, ethnic conflict, economic development, welfare and labor regimes, and party systems. The historical periods analyzed under these themes include the Founding, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the New Deal and its legacies, the Civil Rights movement, as well as the contemporary era.

Full details for AMST 3262 - The US Regime in Comparative and Historical Perspective

Spring.
AMST3355 Beyoncé Nation: The Remix The Beyoncé Nation course at Cornell, which has been requested regularly over the past several years, is finally back by popular demand!  Beyoncé's trajectory from Houston, Texas as a member of the group Destiny's Child to international fame and superstardom and a successful career as a solo singer, actress, clothing designer and entrepreneur holds important implications for critical dialogues on the U.S. South and national femininity. One aspect of this course examines themes related to her intersectional identity as a model of black and Southern womanhood that have recurred in her song lyrics, performances and visual representations, which have also been foundational for her development of more recent productions, including "Formation" and the larger Lemonade album.  In this course, we will examine the related film and its adaptation by black queer and trans women in the Glass Wing Group's Lemonade Served Bitter Sweet. Moreover, we will examine the Homecoming documentary, along with Beyoncé's newer projects such as The Lion: King:  The Gift, Black Is King and Netflix productions.  We will also consider Beyoncé's early career in Destiny's Child, including the impact of projects such "Independent Women, Part I" and popular icons such as Farrah Fawcett in shaping her Southern discourse.  We will carefully trace Beyoncé's journey to global fame and iconicity and the roles of the music business, social media and technology, fashion, and film in her development. We will consider her impact on politics and contemporary activist movements, as well as her engagement of black liberation discourses from the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party to Black Lives Matter, #SayHerName and #TakeAKnee. Furthermore, we will consider Beyoncé's impact in shaping feminism, including black feminism, along with her impact on constructions of race, gender, sexuality, marriage, family, and motherhood.  In addition to her body of work in film and video, we will draw on popular essays and critical writings on Beyoncé that have been produced from journals to books, along with visual materials and several biographies.  We will draw on the growing body of critical research and writing in Beyoncé studies, taking up book-length studies such as Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley's Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism, and essays from collections such as Adrienne Trier-Bieniek's The Beyonce Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism, Kinitra D. Brooks's The Lemonade Reader:  Beyoncé, Black Feminism and Spirituality, Veronica Chambers's Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Christina Baade and Kristin A. McGee's Beyoncé in the World:  Making Meaning with Queen Bey in Troubled Times.  Additionally, we will draw on works such as Michael Eric Dyson's JAY-Z:  Made in America, and Destiny's Child:  The Untold Story by Mathew Knowles, who will visit to discuss his books and backgrounds related to the music business and entrepreneurship.

Full details for AMST 3355 - Beyoncé Nation: The Remix

Spring.
AMST3370 Contemporary American Theatre on Stage and Screen How has theatre shaped our notion of America and Americans in the second half of the 20th century and beyond?  What role has politics played in the theatre?  How has performance been used to examine concepts of identity, community, and nationality?  And how and why have certain plays in this era been translated to the screen? In this course we will examine major trends in the American theatre from 1960 to the present.  We will focus on theatre that responds directly to moments of social turmoil, including: the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movements, Women's and Gender Equality Movements, and the AIDS epidemic. We will also explore the tensions between Broadway and alternative theatre production.

Full details for AMST 3370 - Contemporary American Theatre on Stage and Screen

Spring.
AMST3401 The Whites are Here to Stay: US-Africa Policy from Nixon to Date

Full details for AMST 3401 - The Whites are Here to Stay: US-Africa Policy from Nixon to Date

AMST3404 A Maritime History of Early America, ca. 1450-1850 In the early 1590s, a mysterious cartographer drew a map of the Americas for eager and curious European audiences. The orientation of the map was from the perspective of a ship crossing the Atlantic and arriving in the Caribbean, with Newfoundland marking the northern boundary and the islands of the Caribbean marking its southern boundary. The mapmaker knew what he was doing, an entire literary genre in sixteenth-century Europe was devoted to the islands of the Americas. Sixteenth-century Europeans' obsession with all things maritime and insular point to an important historical fact often overlooked in more land-based histories of colonies and empires: West and West Central Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans encountered one another initially from the bows of canoes, the decks of ships, or sandy beaches. And maritime cultures and technologies continued to influence the development of colonial societies—and resistance to colonization—throughout the colonial period. This course explores the history of Early America from the deck of a ship. Through lectures and readings, we will analyze how the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean created opportunities for some and cataclysmic misfortune for others. Self-liberated African and Afro-descended mariners, women running port towns in the absence of men, Kalinago pilots, and impressed European sailors will serve as some of our guides through a maritime history of early America.

Full details for AMST 3404 - A Maritime History of Early America, ca. 1450-1850

Spring.
AMST3405 Multicultural Issues in Education This course explores research on race, ethnicity and language in American education. It examines historical and current patterns of school achievement for minoritized youths. It also examines the cultural and social premises undergirding educational practices in diverse communities and schools. Policies, programs and pedagogy, including multicultural and bilingual education, are explored.

Full details for AMST 3405 - Multicultural Issues in Education

Spring.
AMST3442 Merchants, Whalers, Pirates, Sailors: American Maritime Literature from the 19th Century and Beyond This course will look at how literature based at sea helps both shape and challenge concepts of freedom and capital. By looking at the relationship between the sea-faring economy and its relationship to American Expansion and the history of enslavement we will explore how literature based at sea provided both a reflection and an alternate reality to land-based politics. While the main focus of the course will be nineteenth-century literature, we will also be exploring maritime literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and its analogues in speculative fiction.

Full details for AMST 3442 - Merchants, Whalers, Pirates, Sailors: American Maritime Literature from the 19th Century and Beyond

Spring.
AMST3581 Imagining Migration in Film and Literature What role should imaginative arts play in debates about transnational migration, one of the principal factors re-shaping community and communication today?  Focusing on literature and film from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with primary examples drawn from Germany, France and the United States—in relation to Turkey, Hungary, Tunisia, Iran, Nigeria, China, Mexico, and Japan—this course explores how creative arts rework the fabric of social life affected by migration.  Seminar-style discussion of assigned readings and viewings, with occasional lectures on other arts and regions.  Thematic units organized around key concepts such as borders and movement, ethnoscapes and citizenship, reading and viewing, labor and leisure, cityscapes and place-making, mediascapes and personhood, lawfulness and illegality, language and speech, art and perception.   

Full details for AMST 3581 - Imagining Migration in Film and Literature

Fall or Spring.
AMST3616 Podcast, Radio, Gramophone: Literary Technologies of Sound How can we account for the contemporary popularity of podcasts? In what ways do they build on, and break from, earlier forms of writing for the ear? In this class we will study innovative podcast fictions like Welcome to Night Vale, Forest 404, and Homecoming together with pathbreaking aural works of the 20th century, from The War of the Worlds to John Cage's Roaratorio and albums by the Firesign Theatre. We will consider the new opportunities and challenges of the podcasting medium, making our own recordings along the way. And we will look at well-known authors — from James Joyce and Dylan Thomas to Ursula Le Guin and Amiri Baraka — who experimented with then-new technologies like the gramophone, radio, audiotape, LP, headphones, the Walkman, and more. 

Full details for AMST 3616 - Podcast, Radio, Gramophone: Literary Technologies of Sound

Spring.
AMST3617 Cornell Hip-Hop Collective This course is open to experienced rappers, beatmakers, and vocalists interested forging collaborative relationships with other students. Taking as a foundation hip-hop's relationship to social justice, each semester we will work together to plan and record an EP on a theme or keyword chosen as a group. We will construct and analyze playlists of inspirational material, identifying specific hip-hop compositional strategies for creating beats and rhymes on a theme, and will use these tools to create and workshop our own collaborative tracks in weekly meetings. Please contact the instructor to audition.  

Full details for AMST 3617 - Cornell Hip-Hop Collective

Fall, Spring.
AMST3625 Frederick Douglass and Frances E.W. Harper Frederick Douglass (1818?-1895) and France Harper's (1825-1911) careers as activists, orators, writers, and suffragists spanned the better part of the nineteenth century, from the age of enslavement through Reconstruction and the dawn of Jim Crow. We might say that the narrative of the life of Douglass is the narrative of the life of democracy and citizenship in the United States, as told by a man who often found himself characterized as an intruder, a fugitive, and an outlaw. Harper was a poet, lecturer, novelist, orator, and suffragist who challenged her white sisters to face their racism and her black brothers to face their misogyny. How do these two writers expand and challenge our understandings of citizenship and democracy?

Full details for AMST 3625 - Frederick Douglass and Frances E.W. Harper

Spring.
AMST3661 Reading the Nineteenth-Century American Novel The course asks you to think about the role of fiction in producing a sense of history, politics, and culture in the nineteenth-century United States. In particular, we will think about the relations among stylistic concerns in fiction and the construction of identities formed by national, racial, gendered, and sexual allegiances. Authors include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Pauline Hopkins, and Fanny Fern.

Full details for AMST 3661 - Reading the Nineteenth-Century American Novel

Spring.
AMST3675 The Environmental Imagination in American Literature This course focuses on works that exemplify environmental consciousness—a sense that humans are not the center of the world and that to think they are may have catastrophic consequences for humans themselves. Environmental literature is not just a major strand of American literature but one of its most distinctive contributions to the literature of the world. We will be reading works mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, both poetry and fiction, confronting the challenges of thinking and writing with an ecological consciousness in the 21st. Cornell being a rich environment in which to pursue such investigations, creative projects will be encouraged. Inspiration is assured.

Full details for AMST 3675 - The Environmental Imagination in American Literature

Spring.
AMST3703 Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective The common perception of ethnicity is that it is a natural and an inevitable consequence of cultural difference. Asians overseas, in particular, have won repute as a people who cling tenaciously to their culture and refuse to assimilate into their host societies and cultures. But, who are the Asians? On what basis can we label Asians an ethnic group? Although there is a significant Asian presence in the Caribbean, the category Asian itself does not exist in the Caribbean. What does this say about the nature of categories that label and demarcate groups of people on the basis of alleged cultural and phenotypical characteristics? This course will examine the dynamics behind group identity, namely ethnicity, by comparing and contrasting the multicultural experience of Asian populations in the Caribbean and the United States. Ethnographic case studies will focus on the East Indian and Chinese experiences in the Caribbean and the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Indian experiences in the United States.

Full details for AMST 3703 - Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective

Spring.
AMST3732 Africans and African Americans in Literature When an African and an African American meet, solidarity is presumed, but often friction is the result.  In this course, we will consider how Africans and African Americans see each other through literature.  What happens when two peoples suffering from double consciousness meet?  We will examine the influence of historical forces including slavery, colonialism and pan-Africanism on the way writers explore the meeting between Africans and African Americans. Specifically we will look at how writers and political figures such as Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Adichie, Richard Wright, Eugene Robinson, Philippe Wamba, Martin Luther King Junior and Malcolm X have understood the meeting.

Full details for AMST 3732 - Africans and African Americans in Literature

Spring.
AMST3734 Whiteness in Literature and Popular Culture After the violent events in Charlottesville in 2017, and especially the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol in 2021, most people have become aware of the extreme form of white political identities that are now a visible presence in our society. What can we learn about the history of "whiteness" from literature and popular culture?  What alternative conception of whiteness, including a consciously anti-racist white identity, can we glean from novels and plays, movies and TV shows?  This introductory course uses works by prominent writers (James Baldwin, Toni Morrison) as well as movies (including Get Out and Blindspotting) plus TV shows (Mad Men, Sopranos) to explore these questions.

Full details for AMST 3734 - Whiteness in Literature and Popular Culture

Spring.
AMST3870 The History of Consumption: From Wedgwood to Wal-Mart Whether buying at a general store, shopping at a department store, or loitering at a mall, consumption has always formed an important part of the American experience. More than just commodities bought and sold, consumption is also about the institutions, social practices, cultural meanings, and economic functions that have surrounded the merchandise. This course will look at the changing meanings consumption has had for life, politics, and economy in the US over the past 300 years.

Full details for AMST 3870 - The History of Consumption: From Wedgwood to Wal-Mart

Spring.
AMST3980 Independent Research Affords opportunities for students to carry out independent research under appropriate supervision. Each student is expected to review pertinent literature, prepare a project outline, conduct the research, and prepare a report. Topic and credit hours TBD as arranged between faculty and student.

Full details for AMST 3980 - Independent Research

Fall, Spring.
AMST3990 Readings in American Studies Individualized readings for junior and senior students. Topics, requirements, and credit hours will be determined in consultation between the student and the supervising faculty member.

Full details for AMST 3990 - Readings in American Studies

Fall, Spring.
AMST4002 Diasporic and Indigenous Health Rates of chronic disease and other health conditions, including mental illness and substance use disorders, have surged over the past three decades, owing largely to structural factors associated with the fragmentation of national healthcare systems, diminished social support networks, and government subsidization of unhealthy foods and hazardous pharmaceuticals. These issues are especially amplified in ethnoracial communities: for example, Blacks and Latinos typically have higher rates of disease in comparison to their non-Black counterparts, even after adjusting for factors such as income and education level. This course investigates the complex political, economic and cultural forces which contribute to health inequities. Students will be exposed to case studies throughout various diasporas—from Harlem to Cape Town—to understand the intricate ways in which race and health interact.

Full details for AMST 4002 - Diasporic and Indigenous Health

Fall, Spring.
AMST4021 American Conservative Thought American conservative thought rests on assumptions that are strikingly different from those made by mainstream American liberals.  However, conservative thinkers are themselves committed to principles that are both quite varied and sometimes contradictory.  This course examines the assumptions upon which rest the libertarian, market/economic, and cultural/traditional strains of American conservatism and asks whether the tensions between them weaken or strengthen conservative thought as an alternative to mainstream liberalism.

Full details for AMST 4021 - American Conservative Thought

Fall, Spring.
AMST4022 U.S. Cultures of War and Empire This course examines the history and afterlives of U.S. war and empire across the Asia/Pacific region and the politics they engender for Asian/Pacific Americans. Since the Philippine American war (1898-1904), the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani's monarchy (1893) and the subsequent annexation of the Hawaiian Islands (1898), the 20th century has been constituted by U.S. wars and colonial conquests across the Asia/Pacific region. From South Korea to Vietnam, Japan to Cambodia, Laos to Okinawa, U.S. presence has been felt in "hot wars" as well as Cold War discourse, in the U.S. military-industrial complex and its socio-political, cultural and environmental impact within the region. Reckoning with this global U.S. history, students will better understand Asian/Pacific Islander racialization in the U.S. At the same time, we will reckon with Black, indigenous, and Latinx racialization through and against U.S. wars and militarism in Asia. Course themes include: critical refugee studies, U.S. militarism & gender, settler colonialism, transpacific critique, the politics of memory and post-memory.

Full details for AMST 4022 - U.S. Cultures of War and Empire

Spring.
AMST4051 Death Penalty in America The death penalty has gotten increased media attention due to high profile death row exonerations, and has long been under siege for other reasons, such as racial disparities in its imposition and the prevalence of very poor representation by defense counsel. This course surveys the legal and social issues that arise in the administration of the death penalty. The reading will be largely comprised of reported death penalty cases, but will be augmented by a variety of other sources, including empirical studies of the death penalty and the litigation experience of the professors. Although the focus will be on capital punishment as practiced in the United States, we will also consider international and comparative perspectives. Guest speakers will provide a range of views, and law students with experience working on capital cases will lead discussion sections.

Full details for AMST 4051 - Death Penalty in America

Spring.
AMST4066 Technological Change at Work Computers and digital technologies including robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), internet-enabled platforms, and other "high-tech" drivers of automation have revolutionized the nature and organization of work in the U.S., with material implications for workers and their families, among others. This upper-level seminar begins with a rhetorical inquiry into whether and when the technological change engendered by digitization and the so-called "Information Technology (IT) Revolution" benefits workers. We then consider the broader impact of recent technological advances on manufacturing and fabrication, low- and semi-skilled service work, i.e., restaurant servers and bus drivers, and even on expert and professional work like that to which most of you presumably aspire. Among the central themes is the notion that technology does not unilaterally act upon workers, their employers, or society-at-large. Rather, workers, managers, customers, institutions, and policymakers shape which advances take hold and which do not, the ways that these technologies are deployed in the workplace, and the ways that society can actively mitigate the costs to technological advancement while harnessing its benefits.

Full details for AMST 4066 - Technological Change at Work

Fall or Spring.
AMST4113 August Wilson: the Cycle of Black Life

Full details for AMST 4113 - August Wilson: the Cycle of Black Life

AMST4155 Slavery and Gender in the Atlantic World In 1662, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a law that made African slavery inheritable through matrilineal descent. Partus sequiter ventrem codified the economic and legal value associated with the reproductive labor of enslaved women and shaped the social and power dynamics of slavery in distinctive ways. The gendered contexts of enslaved women's lives began to take shape throughout the Atlantic world and well into the mid-nineteenth century in the antebellum South. The lives of enslaved women, however, can be understood in a variety of contexts that we have yet to fully understand. In this graduate seminar, we will read and think deeply about the historiography of slavery and gender. This body of work boasts a unique genealogy and invites questions about the methodologies of our guild as we seek to understand these transformations with a limited archive. This seminar will examine the experiences of enslaved women but will also consider how gender configures in the lives of enslaved men, and white women and men.

Full details for AMST 4155 - Slavery and Gender in the Atlantic World

Spring.
AMST4550 Race and the University What is a university, what does it do, and how does it do it? Moving out from these more general questions, this seminar will focus on a more specific set of questions concerning the place of race within the university. What kinds of knowledge are produced in the 20th- century U.S. university? Why is it, and how is it, that certain knowledge formations and disciplines come to be naturalized or privileged within the academy? How has the emergence of fields of inquiry such as Ethnic Studies (with an epistemological platform built on the articulations of race, class and gender) brought to the fore (if not brought to crisis) some of the more vexing questions that strike at the core of the idea of the university as the pre-eminent site of disinterested knowledge? This seminar will give students the opportunity to examine American higher education's (particularly its major research institutions) historical instantiation of the relations amongst knowledge, power, equality and democracy.

Full details for AMST 4550 - Race and the University

Spring.
AMST4603 Black Speculative Fiction This course takes up literatures and arts of Black speculation in the broadest terms, from science fiction and fantasy to Afrofuturism and Afropunk to Phillis Wheatley's and Outkast's poetics. We'll give special attention to speculation in African American literature to think through how Black people used art in the midst of anti-blackness to imagine worlds otherwise and for the pleasure of the craft. We'll read Black speculation through multiple forms, including novels, graphic novels, film, and music. Figures for consideration include William J. Wilson ("Ethiop"), Pauline Hopkins, Frances E. W. Harper, W. E. B. Du Bois, Octavia Butler, Ryan Coogler, Eve Ewing, N.K. Jemisin, Sun Ra, and Erykah Badu.

Full details for AMST 4603 - Black Speculative Fiction

Spring.
AMST4615 Lovecraft Country: Blackness, Indigeneity, and Literary Racial Speculation H. P. Lovecraft helped to create an American subgenre of horror and speculative fictions. He was also a notorious racist. Writing from New England, he imagined ancient and terrifying landscapes of racial miscegenation and madness that haunt a deeply anti-Black and anti-Indigenous settler colonialism. For Matt Ruff, a graduate of Cornell and author of the novel Lovecraft Country that is the basis for Misha Green's HBO series of the same name, antiblack racial violence provides the deep-seated horror that lurks beneath Lovecraft's stories. Using Lovecraft and the HBO series adaptation as a frame for thinking about the racialized present, we will spend the semester considering how the speculation of settler colonial horrors and fantasies is undone as each of the authors we read reanimate the centrality of race, Blackness, and Indigeneity to just and unjust visions of the past, present, and future.

Full details for AMST 4615 - Lovecraft Country: Blackness, Indigeneity, and Literary Racial Speculation

Spring.
AMST4669 From Slavery to Mass Incarceration: A History of Policing in Black Communities This course examines the history of policing in Black communities from its origins in slavery, through the Civil Rights/Black Power eras and the War on Drugs, to the present day. Specifically, it reveals how Black people's desire for freedom from slavery led fearful local, state, and federal authorities to establish a complex web of laws, policies and social practices that monitored and governed Black people's lives in sickening detail. This system ultimately laid a durable foundation for systems of racial and social control that continue to exist in modified forms in contemporary society. Using an array of sources—including film, legal codes, government documents, oral histories, newspaper reports, and personal letters—this course explores the legacy of slavery in modern-day policing and mass incarceration. For longer description and instructor bio, visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for AMST 4669 - From Slavery to Mass Incarceration: A History of Policing in Black Communities

Spring.
AMST4705 Nightlife This course explores nightlife as a temporality that fosters countercultural performances of the self and that serves as a site for the emergence of alternative kinship networks.  Focusing on queer communities of color, course participants will be asked to interrogate the ways in which nightlife demonstrates the queer world-making potential that exists beyond the normative 9-5 capitalist model of production. Performances of the everyday, alongside films, texts, and performance art, will be analyzed through a performance studies methodological lens.  Through close readings and sustained cultural analysis, students will acquire a critical understanding of the potentiality of spaces, places, and geographies codified as "after hours" in the development of subcultures, alternative sexualities, and emerging performance practices.

Full details for AMST 4705 - Nightlife

Spring.
AMST4757 Be a Man! Masculinity, Race, and Nation This course analyzes how cultural beliefs about masculinity intersect with race, sexuality, and citizenship. To emphasize how masculine norms vary across cultures, we will use the plural term "masculinities." Treating gender as a relational system of power, we will investigate how masculinities are defined against femininities, and how different masculinities are defined against each other (for example, the stereotypes of the Latino "bad hombre" vs. the white "all-American football player"). Combining sociological studies with media analysis, we will ask the following questions and more: Where do beliefs about masculinities come from, and how do they change over time? How do these beliefs naturalize certain kinds of violence? How do these beliefs interact with, and help to create, ideas about race and nation?

Full details for AMST 4757 - Be a Man! Masculinity, Race, and Nation

Spring.
AMST4851 Refugees Since World War II, over 4 million people have migrated to the United States as refugees. In this seminar we will examine some of these refugee migrations and the ways these migrations challenged our understanding of the United States as a "haven for the oppressed." We will examine the crafting of refugee/asylum policy, the role of nongovernmental actors in influencing policy, and the ways policy reflected foreign-policy interests and security concerns. The last weeks of the course will pay particular attention to climate refugees and asylum-seekers, and our changing definitions of who 'merits' protection in the United States.

Full details for AMST 4851 - Refugees

Spring.
AMST4994 Honors Essay Tutorial II To graduate with honors, AMST majors must complete a senior thesis under the supervision of an AMST faculty member and defend that thesis orally before a committee. Students interested in the honors program should consult the AMST Director of Undergraduate Study during the junior year and submit an honors application by May 1 of the junior year.

Full details for AMST 4994 - Honors Essay Tutorial II

Multi-semester course: (Fall - on demand, Spring).
AMST5710 America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education Examines the goals, roles, inputs, and outcomes of schooling in American society, and the policy environment in which schools operate. Analyzes controversies and tensions (e.g., equity, market forces, state control) surrounding public education at local, state, and federal levels. Includes current and historical, urban, and rural issues and problems.

Full details for AMST 5710 - America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education

Spring.
AMST6003 Doing Research With Marginalized Populations This course covers the basic epistemology for social sciences research, integrating an explicit focus on applied mixed methods approaches (quantitative and qualitative) for conducting original "real world" research on humans. While these cognates will be approached theoretically, the course's concentration will be on the praxis of quantifying and contextualizing the experiences, attitudes, and outcomes of historically marginalized and "hidden" populations, including people who are Black, Latinx and indigenous, LGBTQ+,  and individuals with a mental illness or substance use disorder, with an intersectional lens. While not offering an exhaustive review of individual quantitative and qualitative methodologies, students will learn the fundamentals of curating a research framework on marginalized and hidden populations, engaging and recruiting people into their studies, collecting and analyzing data, and disseminating research findings.

Full details for AMST 6003 - Doing Research With Marginalized Populations

Fall, Spring.
AMST6022 U.S. Cultures of War and Empire This course examines the history and afterlives of U.S. war and empire across the Asia/Pacific region and the politics they engender for Asian/Pacific Americans. Since the Philippine American war (1898-1904), the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani's monarchy (1893) and the subsequent annexation of the Hawaiian Islands (1898), the 20th century has been constituted by U.S. wars and colonial conquests across the Asia/Pacific region. From South Korea to Vietnam, Japan to Cambodia, Laos to Okinawa, U.S. presence has been felt in "hot wars" as well as Cold War discourse, in the U.S. military-industrial complex and its socio-political, cultural and environmental impact within the region. Reckoning with this global U.S. history, students will better understand Asian/Pacific Islander racialization in the U.S. At the same time, we will reckon with Black, indigenous, and Latinx racialization through and against U.S. wars and militarism in Asia. Course themes include: critical refugee studies, U.S. militarism & gender, settler colonialism, transpacific critique, the politics of memory and post-memory.

Full details for AMST 6022 - U.S. Cultures of War and Empire

Spring.
AMST6155 Slavery and Gender in the Atlantic World In 1662, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a law that made African slavery inheritable through matrilineal descent. Partus sequiter ventrem codified the economic and legal value associated with the reproductive labor of enslaved women and shaped the social and power dynamics of slavery in distinctive ways. The gendered contexts of enslaved women's lives began to take shape throughout the Atlantic world and well into the mid-nineteenth century in the antebellum South. The lives of enslaved women, however, can be understood in a variety of contexts that we have yet to fully understand. In this graduate seminar, we will read and think deeply about the historiography of slavery and gender. This body of work boasts a unique genealogy and invites questions about the methodologies of our guild as we seek to understand these transformations with a limited archive. This seminar will examine the experiences of enslaved women but will also consider how gender configures in the lives of enslaved men, and white women and men.

Full details for AMST 6155 - Slavery and Gender in the Atlantic World

Spring.
AMST6202 Political Culture This course will explore the relationship between popular belief, political action, and the institutional deployment of social power. The class will be roughly divided in three parts, opening with a discussion of how the material world influences the culture of a society. The middle section will connect culture to political ideology, including symbolism and the construction of group identity. The last part of the course will consider ways in which cultural symbols and ideology can be manipulated in order to legitimate government authority. We will then, coming full circle, trace how political regimes can influence the social practices from which culture originates.

Full details for AMST 6202 - Political Culture

Spring.
AMST6338 Public Humanities This proseminar will introduce graduate students to major histories, theories, and methods in public humanities, to explore how history, art, and culture circulate in public life, how power and governance shape collective memory and cultural production, and how scholars can engage their wider communities. Students will critically analyze a range of modes of public humanities practice, including monuments and memorials, museums and archives, historic preservation, oral history, public art, film and performance, and digital humanities, to consider the histories of those forms and their political, social, and affective meanings. Over the course of the semester, students will develop and workshop public humanities projects based on their scholarship, independently or in potential collaboration with the Johnson Museum of Art, Rare and Manuscript Collections, the Kheel Center, The History Center, and other university departments and community organizations.

Full details for AMST 6338 - Public Humanities

Spring.
AMST6615 Disobedience, Resistance, Refusal This seminar will survey the field of contemporary political theories of dissent. Beginning with the 'new' civil disobedience debate and the question of whether or not the conceptual framework of civil disobedience can still provide adequate resources for conceptualizing recent protest movements, we will consider alternative theoretical approaches analyzing dissent in terms of repertoires of resistance or practices of refusal. Topics examined will include the relationship of theory and practice, the political functions of dissent, the democracy-inhibiting and democracy-enhancing faces of protest, the politics of in/civility, nonviolence and self-defense, protest policing, freedom and fugitivity, as well as the aesthetic-affective registers of political action. Readings may include recent works by William Scheuerman, Robin Celikates, Candice Delmas, Tommie Shelby, Fred Moten, Audra Simpson, Saidiya Hartman, Bonnie Honig, Banu Bargu, Lida Maxwell, and Judith Butler. 

Full details for AMST 6615 - Disobedience, Resistance, Refusal

Spring.
AMST6669 From Slavery to Mass Incarceration: A History of Policing in Black Communities This course examines the history of policing in Black communities from its origins in slavery, through the Civil Rights/Black Power eras and the War on Drugs, to the present day. Specifically, it reveals how Black people's desire for freedom from slavery led fearful local, state, and federal authorities to establish a complex web of laws, policies and social practices that monitored and governed Black people's lives in sickening detail. This system ultimately laid a durable foundation for systems of racial and social control that continue to exist in modified forms in contemporary society. Using an array of sources—including film, legal codes, government documents, oral histories, newspaper reports, and personal letters—this course explores the legacy of slavery in modern-day policing and mass incarceration. For longer description and instructor bio, visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for AMST 6669 - From Slavery to Mass Incarceration: A History of Policing in Black Communities

Spring.
AMST6703 Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective The common perception of ethnicity is that it is a natural and an inevitable consequence of cultural difference. Asians overseas, in particular, have won repute as a people who cling tenaciously to their culture and refuse to assimilate into their host societies and cultures. But, who are the Asians? On what basis can we label Asians an ethnic group? Although there is a significant Asian presence in the Caribbean, the category Asian itself does not exist in the Caribbean. What does this say about the nature of categories that label and demarcate groups of people on the basis of alleged cultural and phenotypical characteristics? This course will examine the dynamics behind group identity, namely ethnicity, by comparing and contrasting the multicultural experience of Asian populations in the Caribbean and the United States. Ethnographic case studies will focus on the East Indian and Chinese experiences in the Caribbean and the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Indian experiences in the United States.

Full details for AMST 6703 - Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective

Spring.
AMST6809 Urban Justice Urban Justice Labs are innovative seminars designed to bring students into direct contact with complex questions about race and social justice within the context of American urban culture, architecture, humanities, and media. Drawing from Cornell's collections, such as the Hip Hop Collection, the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, the Human Sexuality Collection, holdings on American Indian History and Culture, the John Henrik Clarke Africana Library, and the Johnson Museum of Art, students will leverage archival materials to launch new observations and explore unanticipated approaches to urban justice. Urban Justice Labs are offered under the auspices of Cornell University's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Collaborative Studies in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities grant. For current special topic descriptions and application instructions, visit our urban seminars website.

Full details for AMST 6809 - Urban Justice

Spring.
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