American Studies

Summer 2008

General Education Info: GFR | GEP (for students starting Fall 2007)

AMST 310  Gender and Inequality in America                        3 credits
An examination of the ways in which gender roles and gender relations are constructed and experienced in American society. The course explores the development of women's "sphere", denoting women's position in the family and home; cultural definitions of femininity and masculinity through mass media, education and other agencies of socialization; the relationship between wage-earning and household work; and feminist consciousness and politics. Special attention is paid to the ways in which gender-based experiences are divided by other social relations, particularly those of class, race, and age. Note: Also listed as GWST 310.
          Grade Method: REG
          GEP/GFR:Meets AH.
[0002] 6060 Meets 05/27/2008 - 07/03/2008             TAYLOR, D
            TuTh.......9:00am-12:10pm (ITE 239)

AMST 320  Television in American Culture                          3 credits
An examination of the economic, social and artistic implications of television in the United States. Elements considered include television as a corporate structure, with emphasis on rating systems, programming philosophies and strategies, and demographic considerations; particular genres portrayed within daytime and prime- time television; sociological and psychological impact of television on American society; and television as a popular art. For more information contact hummel1@umbc.edu.
          Grade Method: REG/P-F
          GEP/GFR:Meets AH.
[0003] 6040 Meets 05/27/2008 - 06/20/2008             HUMMEL, M
            TuWTh......1:00pm- 4:10pm (ITE 241)

AMST 357  Special Topics in Communications, Media,                3 credits
          and the Arts Fifty Years of Sitcom                
How has the changing American family been reflected in the most traditional of television formats, the situation comedy? This course will chart the evolution of the sitcom family from its beginnings in the working class sitcoms of the 1950's, to the dominance of the classic; domestic sitcoms of the Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver mold, and on through to the challenges of diversity and feminism reflected in the 1970's by All in the Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. We will then consider the breakthroughs of the 1980s made by The Cosby Show and Roseanne and the emergence of non-nuclear families depicted by programs like Cheers, Friends, and 30 Rock. Finally, we'll look at the recent trend toward dysfunctional families exemplified by The Simpsons, Arrested Development, and My Name Is Earl. From I Love Lucy to The Mary Tyler Moore Show to The George Lopez Show, we will connect programming patterns to the real-life social trends that they attempted to represent or resist, and look for the messages that they hold for us as time capsules of their respective eras. Note: Course may be repeated for credit for a maximum of six credits when topic varies, with permission of the department. Prerequisite: Junior/senior standing or permission of instructor. For more information contact hummel1@umbc.edu.
          Grade Method: REG/P-F
[0004] 6040 Meets 05/27/2008 - 06/20/2008             HUMMEL, M
            TuWTh......6:00pm- 9:10pm (ITE 241)

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