Courses

Courses
ACS 100. Introduction to American Cultural Studies.This course introduces students to the different methods and perspectives of cultural studies within an American context. The course considers the separate evolution of American studies and cultural studies in the academy, and considers how cultural studies provides a lens through which to investigate dynamic American identities, institutions, and communities. Of particular concern is how differences such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality are constructed and expressed in diverse settings, and how they connect to the deployment of power. Enrollment limited to 35. Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/AC 119. Cultural Politics.This course examines the relationship of culture to politics. It introduces the study of struggles to acquire, maintain, or resist power and gives particular attention to the role culture plays in reproducing and contesting social divisions of class, race, gender, and sexuality. Lectures and discussion incorporate film, music, and fiction in order to evaluate the connection between cultural practices and politics. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. M. Beasley.
Concentrations
AC/HI 141. America in the Age of the Civil War.This course surveys United States history from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century, focusing particularly on the experience of immigrants, women, the plantation South, and the urbanizing North. Special attention is also given to the history of the American Civil War. Enrollment limited to 48. (United States.) M. Creighton.
Concentrations
INDS 210. Technology in U.S. History.Surveys the development, distribution, and use of technology in the United States from colonial roadways to microelectronics, using primary and secondary source material. Subjects treated include sexual and racial divisions of labor, theories of invention and innovation, and the ecological consequences of technological change. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, history, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) R. Herzig.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS 211. Environmental Perspectives on U.S. History.This course explores the relationship between the North American environment and the development and expansion of the United States. Because Americans' efforts (both intentional and not) to define and shape the environment were rooted in their own struggles for power, environmental history offers an important perspective on the nation's social history. Specific topics include Europeans', Africans', and Indians' competing efforts to shape the colonial environment; the impact and changing understanding of disease; the relationship between industrial environments and political power; and the development of environmental movements. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) J. Hall.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ACS 220. Community Studies.Too often, students experience college within an academic cocoon, taking for granted their surrounding environment. This course moves beyond the bubble of the academy. After a review of cultural studies methodology, students consider the evolution of the college itself as well as the dynamic history of Lewiston, Maine. Students' understanding of the community is developed in readings on immigration and on practical work in local service-oriented agencies. In addition to community work and weekly assignments prepared for seminar discussions, students produce a research paper relevant to the themes of the course. Enrollment limited to 12. (Community-Engaged Learning.) Normally offered every year. Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS 222. History of American Popular Culture.We live in a world surrounded by the trends of popular culture. What has defined American pop culture through history? This course examines the history of popular culture in America from the nineteenth century to the present. Students investigate the ways that Americans have popularized trends, with special focus on the following case studies: chapbooks, dime novels, blackface and minstrel shows, P. T. Barnum, burlesque and vaudeville, baseball and American visual culture, amusement parks, advertising, popular music, television, and film. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, art and visual culture, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) A. Bessire.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/FR 240I. French in Maine.An appreciation and analysis of what it means to speak French and to be "French" in the local and regional context. Students examine questions of language, ethnic identity, and cultural expression through novels, short stories, autobiographies, film, and written and oral histories. Visits to local cultural sites enhance students' understanding of the Franco-American community and its heritage. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207 or 208. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] M. Rice-DeFosse.
Concentrations
AC/HI 244. Native American History.A survey of Native American peoples from European contact to the present, this course addresses questions of cultural interaction, power, and native peoples' continuing history of colonization. By looking at the ways various First Nations took advantage of and suffered from their new relations with newcomers, students learn that this history is more than one of conquest and disappearance. In addition, they learn that the basic categories of "Indian" and "white" are themselves inadequate for understanding native pasts and presents. Much of this learning depends on careful readings of native writers. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) J. Hall.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/EN 247. Contemporary Arab American Literature.This course studies Arab American literature from 1990 until the present. Students examine novels, short fiction, memoirs, or poetry in an effort to understand the major concerns of contemporary Arab American authors. Students are expected to engage theoretical material and literary criticism to supplement their understanding of the literature. In addition to a discussion of formal literary concerns, this course is animated by the way authors spotlight gender, sexual orientation, politics, and history. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level course in English. Enrollment limited to 25. T. Pickens.
Concentrations
AC/HI 248. Back East, Down South, Out West: Regions in American Culture.This course examines American regions as they have emerged as cultural entities from the eighteenth century to the present. Its primary texts are grounded in contemporary scholarship in history and cultural geography and in popular literature, film, music, and architecture. Students investigate the intersection of demographic and economic history with cultural invention. Beginning with a focus on "olde" New England and continuing with a study of the cultural power of the "wild" West, students devote considerable attention to the "deep" South to understand how region mediates the identities and experiences associated with race, class, and gender difference. Prerequisite(s): AC/HI 141 or HIST 243. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) M. Creighton.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.Interdisciplinarity involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and women and gender studies. Prerequisite(s): AAS 100, ACS 100, or WGST 100, and one other course in African American studies, American cultural studies, or women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS 258. American Minority Religions: Goddesses, Guns and Gurus.Americans often claim to value religious freedom and diversity. But how do we respond when religious minorities take more than one spouse, interact with aliens, or stockpile weapons for the end of the world? This course explores common characteristics of minority religions and considers how gender and sexuality have shaped beliefs, practices, and popular depictions of American minority religions since 1945. Students examine writings and speeches of charismatic leaders, consider radical religious innovations, and analyze popular culture portrayals (including films, graphic novels, and fiction) of minority religions in the post-World War II United States. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. One-time offering. M. Goodwin.
INDS 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.Places recent popular and scientific discussions of human heredity and genetics in broader social, political, and historical context, focusing on shifting definitions of personhood. Topics include the ownership and exchange of human bodies and body parts, the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, history, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) R. Herzig.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AC/HI 271. The New England Way?: From Witch-Hunters to Abolitionists, Investigating a Region and Its People.This course addresses the question of New England distinctiveness, and how that region influenced American history to the Civil War. Ever since the Puritans decided to become a "City on a Hill," New Englanders insisted that they were different, even better than their neighbors. Their neighbors tended to agree, at least with the first part. This class asks if there was a definable New England Way, and what, if anything, distinguished New England from other American regions. Judging the interpretations of previous scholars and drawing on original sources, students will investigate how the land of Puritans and Cotton Mather became a bastion of Unitarianism and the home of P.T. Barnum. New course beginning Winter 2015. Not open to students who have received credit for AC/HI 248. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) One-time offering. I. Saxine.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ACS 280. Story of Things: Introduction to Material Culture.The phrase "material culture" refers to the "things" of our daily lives. Our material lives range from our bodies to the clothes we wear, the specific objects we use, the food we eat, and the places we go. Material culture has been defined from numerous perspectives, most notably anthropology, archaeology, art history, cultural theory, and history. Scholars in these and other disciplines have used material culture as sources of evidence to explore the everyday lives of ordinary citizens. This seminar introduce students to consider how objects are used to reinforce, propagate, and resist cultural hierarchies based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and national identity. Prerequisite(s): ACS 100, AA/AC 119, or ANTH 101. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Beasley.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/AV 288. Visualizing Race.This course considers visual constructions of race in art and popular culture, with a focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. General topics include the role of visual culture in creating and sustaining racial stereotypes, racism, white supremacy, and white-skin privilege; the effects upon cultural producers of their own perceived race in terms of both their opportunities and their products; and the relations of constructions of race to those of gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. Not open to students who have received credit for AVC 288. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. [W2] E. Rand.
Concentrations
AC/HI 305. Walking in Indian Country: Early American History Through Native Eyes, 1600-1815.This course examines the transformation of Native American communities after the arrival of Europeans in North America until the era of Removal. It explores various themes through a series of encounter studies. While buttressed by secondary literature, each encounter features one or more primary sources. Through these investigations, students gain experience in working firsthand with primary sources, and learn to deal with the special problems inherent in studying non-literate people. The encounters focus on a number of areas of cultural change and conflict in Indian communities, including material culture, diplomacy, religion, gender, and military culture. Course renumbered as AC/HI 390F. Enrollment limited to 40. One-time offering. I. Saxine.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS 305. Art, Power, and Politics.Pairing theory with relevant documentaries and films, this course is an anthropological examination of the relationship among art, power, and politics. What can the artistic works of various societies say about their worlds that other creations cannot? What claims can art make about the workings of power, and what artistic techniques does power itself employ? Students consider these and other questions from a number of different perspectives, including the politics of perception, the place of art in modern life, the artistry of terror, the art of protest and propaganda, and the dream of building a beautiful regime. Recommended background: A familiarity with classical social theory, especially Marx, is encouraged but not necessary. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and anthropology. New course beginning Winter 2015. Not open to students who have received credit for ANTH s22. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Rubin.
INDS 338. Race, Sport, and American Life.This seminar explores the relationship between sports and race in American life. Students consider questions such as: How are sports involved in the racialization of bodies? How do gender, history, and class shape how Americans experience and negotiate race in the context of sport? What kinds of "race talk" do sports allow and forbid? Examining topics that range from a boxing gym in New York to Major League Baseball’s economic and political presence in Latin America, students develop a deeper and subtler understanding of the ways that sports have influenced, and have been influenced by, social and political life in the United States. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and anthropology. Enrollment limited to 20. One-time offering. J. Rubin.
AC/AV 340. History of Photography.This course explores the photographic medium from its inception to the art of contemporary photography. Students examine specific photographic genres, such as landscape, portraiture and images of the body, travel photography, and documentary and war photography through the lens of their cultural, social, and political context. Requirements for the course include weekly assignments related to the readings, a research paper, and final group research presentation. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/WS 353. Critical Theory/Critical Acts.Critical theory is about the unraveling of streams of repressive discourses and hierarchies in our contemporary world, and it has been artists who have fostered ruptures and fissures in everyday life. This seminar ponders the concept of "cultural worker" and laments the domain of theory by exploring the intersections between critical theory, art, and cultural politics. Students engage in the ruptures, the fragments of knowledge, and the making sense of the residue of "social change" while not forgetting the problematization of the aesthetic. They consider U.S.-based interdisciplinary artists such as Thiong'o, Fusco, Ana Mediata, Tania Bruguera, David Hammon, Jay-Z, Pope.L, and Lady Gaga with critical theorists such as Fanon, Butler, Foucault, Phalen, Muñoz, Moten, Adorno, Barthes, Dorothea Olkowski, and Benjamin. This seminar is based on close readings of theoretical texts and connecting those texts with contemporary cultural politics. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AA/AC 119, ACS 100, AC/AV 340, AC/EN 395B, AV/WS 287, INDS 250 or 267, or WGST 100. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ACS 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/AC 375. Curatorial Studies and Contemporary Culture.Cultural studies interprets curatorial practice such as how people come to understand and express identities through interactions with spaces, things, and shared social relations in contemporary daily life. This seminar considers the definitions of "to curate" from an act of collecting, arranging, and displaying things for others to understanding curatorial projects that investigate rituals, objects, sites, and events of everyday life and their interplay with identity and cultural politics. Students consider the work of such scholars as Wilson, Golden, Benjamin, Foucault, Gonzalez, and de Certeu. They discuss the usual sites for curatorial work such as museums, galleries, libraries, and botanic gardens, as well as less conventional sites such as food displays, magazines, dorm rooms, websites, music (curating through dj-ing), and video programs. Prerequisite(s): One of the following: ACS 100, AA/AC 119, AAS 100, WGST 100, INDS 250, AVC 280, AVC 374, AV/WS 296, ANTH 100, AV/WS 297, ACS 283, or AC/AV 288. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Beasley, A. Bessire.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/HI 390F. Walking in Indian Country: Early American History Through Native Eyes, 1600-1815.This course examines the transformation of Native American communities after the arrival of Europeans in North America until the era of Removal. It explores various themes through a series of encounter studies. While buttressed by secondary literature, each encounter features one or more primary sources. Through these investigations, students gain experience in working firsthand with primary sources, and learn to deal with the special problems inherent in studying non-literate people. The encounters focus on a number of areas of cultural change and conflict in Indian communities, including material culture, diplomacy, religion, gender, and military culture. New course beginning Winter 2015. Enrollment limited to 15. (Premodern.) (United States.) [W2] One-time offering. I. Saxine.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS 390L. Exhibiting American Culture.How is America defined through cultural exhibitions and performances of national identity? This course examines the politics of exhibiting American culture. Each week the course investigates distinct exhibitions of visual culture and the cultural body, such as historic house museums, plantations and American slavery museums, Colonial Williamsburg, world expositions, the phenomenon of the wild west show, cowboy culture, Native American exhibitions, and displays of American culture in music videos, film, and television. Through these types of exhibitions, students consider issues of stereotype, race, and national and local identity. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, art and visual culture, and history. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) [W2] A. Bessire.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/EN 395B. Privacy, Intimacy, and Identity.This seminar explores American concepts of "self" in historical and cultural context, focusing on distinct yet overlapping discourses of privacy, intimacy, and identity, as these are shaped by evolving understandings of race, sexuality, gender, class, and nation. Beginning with a critical investigation of how the nation's Puritan settlers articulated, practiced, and regulated "the self" and concluding with a consideration of how self and identity are presented in mediated environments such as Facebook and MySpace, students consider scholarship in American literary and cultural history, critical theory, and primary literary and legal texts. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course or one American cultural studies course. Recommended background: WGST 100. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] E. Osucha.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ACS 457. Senior Thesis.Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, all majors write an extended essay that utilizes the methods of at least two disciplines. Students register for ACS 457 in the fall semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both ACS 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ACS 458. Senior Thesis.Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, all majors write an extended essay that utilizes the methods of at least two disciplines. Students register for ACS 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both ACSs 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

Short Term Courses
AA/AC s16. The Wire: The City and Race in Popular Culture.This course focuses on the HBO series The Wire. Students discuss the episodes in terms of their narrative structure and content as well as cinematic techniques including shot sequence, lighting, camera angle, editing, and transitional devices. They also explore some of the sociopolitical issues this series examines: poverty, unemployment, the drug trade, public education, the decline of newspapers, and public housing. The intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class serves as the lens through which they scrutinize these topics. Enrollment limited to 20. S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS s19. Food, Culture, and Performance.This interdisciplinary seminar examines the idea of cultural engagement through food. Students explore the meanings of food and eating across cultures, with particular attention to how people define themselves socially, symbolically, and politically through food consumption practices. Students in this community-based course collaborate with Nezinscot Farm exploring themes of gathering, homesteading, and biodynamic farming. The course develops research and writing skills, introduces visual and performance theories of culture, and fosters an understanding of the importance of food and its relationship to identity construction, histories, and cultural literacy. The course culminates in a performative meal. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 20. M. Beasley.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDS s25. Introduction to Contemporary Cuban Culture.Students explore selected themes such as contemporary perceptions of race, the cultural politics of music, questions of sexual identity, and implications of the "Special Period" following collapse of the Soviet Union. During the second half of the course, students visit significant cultural sites, attend guest lectures, and experience everyday life in Cuba; they learn to process their experiences using basic ethnographic techniques. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and Spanish. Enrollment limited to 20. C. Carnegie, M. Pettway.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AC/RE s29. Religion and Monsters: What Scares Us (And Why It Matters).Religion tells us what we should shun: the unfamiliar; the impermissible; the Other. We turn to religion to protect us from demons, vampires, and other monsters. Knowing what scares us tells us who we are, what we want, and what we cannot or will not tolerate. This course uses monsters and the concept of the monstrous to introduce fundamental concepts in the academic study of religion. Students analyze popular culture sources, including films, short stories, and graphic novels, in conversation with scholarship on religion and cultural studies to explore what monstrosity can tell us about religious and national identity. New course beginning Short Term 2015. Enrollment limited to 30. One-time offering. M. Goodwin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS s30. Visual Narratives: The City, Ethnography, and Cultural Politics.The focus of this course is to create visual narratives of the City of Lewiston. Situated as a visual methods research course, it builds on theories of urban studies, critical ethnography, and the cultural politics surrounding the photographic documentation of people performing everyday life in the context of Lewiston. Particular attention is given to the development of photography both as a mode for representing culture and as a site of cultural practice. In the first two weeks, students engage theory and history; during the third week, are joined by a guest photographer. The course culminates in visual display of students' work at a location in downtown Lewiston. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and art and visual culture. Prerequisite(s): one of: AA/AC 119; AC/AV 288, 340; ACS 100, 280; AC/WS 353; AV/AS 246; AVC 218, 219, 293, 350A, 374; AV/WS 287 or 296. Not open to first-year students or sophomores. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) M. Beasley, D. Mills.
Concentrations
INDS s37. Afrofuturism and the Black Speculative Imagination: A Study of Octavia Butler.Of the 1969 moonwalk, George Clinton said that once man defied gravity, all bets were off. The music mogul later went on to defy gravity by "funk-ifying" the world. Yet Clinton's ideas are not without precedent in African American culture. In this course, students examine the aesthetic that came to be known as Afrofuturism as an outlet for African American literary and artistic expression. Students focus on the work of Octavia Butler and her volcanic influence, fame, and talent. Since her work dovetails with Clinton's anti-gravity stance and forms a locus for black speculative fiction in particular and speculative fiction in general, they study a selection of her novels, short fiction, and own words as well as secondary critical and theoretical material. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and English. Prerequisite(s): one course in African American studies, American cultural studies, or English. Recommended background: course work in the natural sciences. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/EN 259. Enrollment limited to 30. T. Pickens.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.Christopher Columbus coined the word cannibal during his first voyage to the American continent. The word and the concept have been used ever since to situate the Other, people to be conquered or worthy of destruction. This course explores historical texts of the conquest that describe cannibalism and challenge the practice's very existence among Caribs, Aztecs, Incas, and enslaved Africans. Students explore the related concept of the manhunt, the use by the state of modern and ancient technologies of persecution against individuals and groups it has determined to eliminate. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and Spanish. Prerequisite(s): one course beyond SPAN 208. Recommended background: coursework in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, history, literature, or women and gender studies. B. Fra-Molinero.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

ACS s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)