America in the Postwar World: 1945-1970 (IS136f)

The United States in the postwar era waged a Cold War with the Soviet Union that verged on full-scale nuclear war, and it experienced upheaval in race, gender, and ethnic relations, politics, and culture. Explores connections among these developments. How did music, literature, and film document and comment on the social and political rebellions that defined the era? How did changing opportunities of African Americans and women reshape cultural expression? And how did the development of a new consumer culture transform the nation? See American Studies 136A, American Studies 136B, and History 136 for course descriptions. Satisfies the Arts, Historical Studies and First-year Writing (W1) area requirements and the U.S. Diversity requirement. Twelve credit hours. LISLE, LE ZOTTE, WEISBROT

AM136Af  Sex and the Family in Postwar America

TelevisionIn the decades following the end of World War II, popular representations of romantic love and the American family often promoted ideals of capitalist democracy. This course will explore ways in which portrayals of gender and sexualities conformed to, negotiated, or resisted narratives of national identity.  Primary texts include paintings, television shows, films, magazines, music, and advertisements. Students will develop skills in visual, textual, and aural analysis, interdisciplinary critical thinking, and dynamic discussion.  Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 136 cluster, “America in the Postwar World: 1945-1970.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 136B and History 136. Four credit hours. LE ZOTTE

AM136B  Material Landscape of Postwar United States

We will examine the postwar United States through “things,” considering how materiality culturally constructed class, gender, race, and sexuality. We will explore the meanings of objects at all scales; differences and continuities between “high” and “low” design; gendering and racializing of public and private spaces; automobile aesthetics and spatiality; consumption-based progress narratives; and restricted access to postwar abundance. In this discussion-based course, students will develop their skills of material, spatial, visual, and historical analysis and their critical writing skills. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 136 cluster, “America in the Postwar World: 1945-1970.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 136A and History 136. Four credit hours. W1. LISLE

HI 136f  American Superpower, 1945-1970     

An exploration of American politics, society, and culture from the emergence of the United States as a superpower at the end of World War II through the turbulent events of the 1960s. Why did America forge a consensus for liberal reform at home and containment of communism abroad? How did this consensus find expression in civil rights campaigns, a war on poverty, confrontations with the Soviet Union, and involvement in Vietnam? How did this consensus shatter amid antiwar activism, racial turmoil, and a rising counterculture? Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 136 cluster, “America in the Postwar World: 1945-1970.”
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 136A and American Studies 136B. Four credit hours. H, U. WEISBROT

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