AS207 — Spring 2006

American Civilization IV



January 16, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
January 23, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Encountering the East


McAlister, Epic Encounters, Introduction – Chapter II


Blog postings
January 30, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Theories of Nationalism and Hegemony


Blog postings
February 06, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Cold War I


Borstelmann, Cold War and the Color Line, Preface – Chapter III


Nationalism and Hegemony, Problem Assessment
Length: 3-4 pages Find and critical gap in the logic of either Anderson or Gramsci and try to bridge that gap with your own formulation.
February 13, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Cold War II


Borstelmann, Cold War and the Color Line, Chapter 4 – End


Blog postings
February 20, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm


Hong Kingston


Project Proposal
One paragraph on a possible project proposal topic.
Blog postings
February 27, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
New Left


Gosse, Movements of the New Left


Nationalism and the New Left
March 06, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Spring Break
March 13, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Transnationalism and Postnationalism in American Studies


Curiel, et. al. and edited by John Carlos Rowe, Post-Nationalist American Studies


Blog postings
March 20, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Commodities and the Good Fight


McAlister, Epic Encounters, Chapters III and IV


Preliminary Annotated Bibliography
Select 6-8 of the most relevant sources for your Project Proposal. Provide 150 word annotations for each.
Blog postings
March 27, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Richardson Lecture


Richardson Lecture
We shall attend together and listen hard.
April 03, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Migrations I


Levitt, Parts I & II



Length: 3-4 Pages

In this critical essay, you will evaluate the theories of nationalism, post-nationalism, and trans-national that we’ve been discussing for the last few weeks. You may draw upon and comment on any of the reading thus far. What is useful about these theories? What is problematic? For which issues do they account well? For which issues do they account poorly? Is one theory more convincing than another? If so why? How might you revise any or all of these theories so that they would be more useful for your work?

April 10, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Migrations II


Levitt, Part III


Methodology Statement
First draft of the Design and Methodology section of your Project Proposal
Blog postings
April 17, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
The New Right




Blog postings
April 24, 2007 4:15 pm 6:35 pm
Militarism and the Middle East


McAlister, Epic Encounters, Chapter V – Conclusion


Blog postings



McAlister, Melanie. Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, & U.S. Interests in the Middle East since 1945. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
Borstelmann, Thomas. The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.
Gosse, Van. The Movements of the New Left, 1950-1975: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.
Hong Kingston, Maxine. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. New York: Vintage International, 1989 [1976].
McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
Levitt, Peggy. The Transnational Villagers. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.


Appadurai, Arjun. “Patriotism and Its Futures” and “The Production of Locality.” Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimenstions of Globalization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996): 158-199.
Anderson, Benendict. “Introduction and Chapter I.” Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 1991): 1-36.
Lears, T.J. Jackson. “The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities.” American Historical Review 90, no. 3 (June 1985): 567-593.
Curiel, et. al., Barbara Brinson edited by John Carlos Rowe. “Introduction.” Post-Nationalist American Studies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000): 1-21.
Buell, Frederick. “Nationalist Postnationalism: Globalist Discourse in Contemporary American Culture.” American Quarterly 50, no. 3 (1998): 548-591.


Project Proposal

Length: 8-10 Pages

In this assignment, you will create a proposal for a project of your choosing that in some way relates to the discussion we’ve been having about nationalism and American Studies after 1945. The sections of the proposal will include an Abstract, Background, Goals and Objectives, Design and Methodology, Potential Significance, and a Review of Key Literature.

Abstract: 100 word overview of your project.

Background: This should provide a brief overview of the research, placing it in the context of previous research in the field, identifying deficiencies in understanding that logically complitment the objectives.

Goals and Objectives: This should explain the outcomes of the project.

Design and Methodology: This should explain the means for fulfilling the outcomes of the project, including the major organizational scheme.

Potential Significance of the Research This should answer the “So What?” question. What new important knowledge will be obtained; what substantive questions will be answered; what in the larger context will be the contribution to the field?

Review of Key Literature This is an annotated bibliography that presents the major related works in the field. Annotations should include a summary of the work and it’s findings, as well as evaluation of the relevance of that work for the project. Annotations should be no longer than 200 words.

Blog Postings

Blogging will be key to the success in this course. For those of you who have never blogged before, no worries. This is not a technically difficult process. It’s more like sending an email than anything else. Pedagogically, however, it serves a number of purposes.

First, blogging allows the members of the class a chance to critically reflect on the readings and our discussions in a public way. Rather than having a private conversation with the instructor through reflection papers, blogging allows the whole class to participate in an ongoing open conversation about the key themes, questions, and problems raised by our materials.

Second, and in a closely related point, blogging encourages vibrant discussion in the classroom. Since every student must critically engage the material before the class meets, the pumps are primed for thoughtful conversation about significant issues when we come together in person.

Finally, blogging leaves an archive of the trajectory of the course–the things in which we are interested and the problems with which we struggle throughout the semester.

To encourage these goals, our blogging will follow a two step process.

  • Initial posting: Each week a student will offer an opening post that will serve as the basis of our conversation for the week. These posts are due the Friday before the class meeting.
  • Response postings: The remaining members of the class, those who did not offer an initial post, will comment on and respond to the initial post. This process will begin our critical discussion before we enter the classroom. These comments and responses are due the Monday before the class meeting.

Some things to consider in your postings include: How does this reading deal with the distribution of power in American society? What frameworks does it offer us for understanding the distribution of power? What do you think is the most interesting part of this reading? Why? What criticisms do you have of the author’s approach? Her use of sources? Has the author overlooked something in her analysis? What will you continue to look for as you read more?

You will be graded both on your Initial postings and on the quality of your participation as a commenter and responder.