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American

Cultural Studies Program


Facultad de Filosofa y Humanidades
Departamento de Lingstica
Universidad de Chile

Total Hours: 106 hours.

Class Times: Wednesdays 6:00 PM-9:00 PM and Saturdays 9:00 AM-1:00 PM.

Classes Start: August 16, 2017; Classes End: December 16, 2017.

Module Key:

ACSTT = American Culture and Society Through Time (13 lectures).

CS = Introduction to Cultural Studies (8 lectures).

CPR = Controlling Processes and Resistance (5 lectures).

AITOW = Americans in Their Own Words (9 lectures).

AHAG = American Hegemony Across the Globe (3 lectures).

AWW = Academic Writing Workshop (7 lectures).

FD=Film and Discussion Sessions (38.5 hours.).

Instructors:
Juan Pablo Vilches [PUC; Facultad de Letras]: CS
Anthony Rauld [U de Chile; Facultad Filosofa y Humanidades]: ACSTT, CPR, AHAG, FD
Aaron Zuckerman [UDP; Facultad de Educacin]: AWW
Lionel Brossi [U de Chile; Facultad Filosofa y Humanidades]: CPR, ACSTT
Andres Ferrada [U de Chile; Facultad Filosofa y Humanidades]: AITOW
Francisco de Undurraga [U de Chile; Facultad Filosofa y Humanidades]: AITOW
Pascale Bonnefoy [U de Chile; Instituto de la Comunicacin e Imagen]: ACSTT
Celia Cussen [U de Chile; Facultad Filosofa y Humanidades]: ACSTT, AITOW
Allison Ramay [PUC; Facultad de Letras]: CPR, AITOW

Schedule of Lectures and Discussions


The Colonial Era.
Lecture ACSTT: Introduction to the Program.

Lecture CS: Intro to Cultural Studies ICulture, Power, and Representation.

Lecture CS: Intro to Cultural Studies IIFrom Marxism to Post-Structuralism.

Film and Discussion: Roots-Episode 1*

Lecture ACSTT: Slavery in America.

AWW: Academic Writing Workshop I.

Film and Discussion: The New World

AWW: Academic Writing Workshop II.

Lecture ACSTT: Colonial America.

Film and Discussion: John Adams-Part 1 and 2

Lecture CS: Intro to Cultural Studies IIICultural Texts.

The American Revolution: A New Republic.


Lecture AITOW: The Founding Fathers and the American Revolution.

Lecture CS: Race, Ethnicity, and the Construction of Identity.

Film and Discussion: Mark Twain Part I*

Lecture AITOW: Nathaniel Hawthorne and The American Landscape.

Lecture ACSTT: The Early Republic and Westward Expansion.

Nineteenth Century America: Coming of Age.


Lecture AITOW: Poe and American Romanticism.

Lecture AITOW: Slave Narratives.

Film and Discussion: Jazz-Part 1*

Lecture AITOW: Emerson, Thoreau and the Transcendentalists.

Lecture ACSTT: Two Societies: The South vs. The North.

Lecture ACSTT: The Civil War and Reconstruction.

Film and Discussion: The Untold History of the United States: Prologue Chapter A*

Lecture AHAG: The Early American Empire.

Lecture CPR: Indigenous Resistance in 19th Century US and Chile.

AWW: Academic Writing Workshop III.


AWW: Academic Writing Workshop IV.

Industrialization and Modern America.


Lecture CPR: Industrialization and the Device Paradigm.

Lecture ACSTT: The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.

Film and Discussion: Day After Trinity*

Lecture AITOW: Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Literature: An Aesthetic of Dialect.

Lecture CPR: Advertizing and Mass Consumer Culture.

Film and Discussion: Born on the Fourth of July

Lecture ACSTT: The Post-War Economy and the Cold War.

Lecture AHAG: The Development Discourse and How to Read Donald Duck.

Post-Modern America: A Time of Inflection.


Film and Discussion: Berkeley in the Sixties*

AWW: Academic Workshop V.

Lecture AITOW: James Baldwin and the Civil Rights Movement.

Lecture AITOW: Updikes RabbitThe Middle Class Struggle.

Film and Discussion: Missing* [November 11]

Lecture AHAG: US Imperialism and Covert Interventions in Latin America.

Lecture ACSTT: The Role of the Press in Modern America.

Lecture AITOW: Chicano and Native American Voices

Film and Discussion: Requiem for an American Dream*

Lecture ACSTT: Globalization.

Lecture ACSTT: News Media and Information in the 21st Century.

Lecture CS: Territory, Nation, and Resistance.

Film and Discussion: Her*

Lecture ACSTT: The Digital Era.

Lecture CPR: Neoliberalization.

Lecture CS: 9/11 in Photography, Film, and Literature.

Film and Discussion: Risk*

Lecture CPR: Artificial Intelligence.

AWW: Academic Writing Workshop VI.

AWW: Academic Writing Workshop VII.


Lecture CS: Gender and Sexuality in America.

Lecture CS: Media and Pop Culture in the 21st Century.

Film and Discussion: Margin Call*

Lecture ACSTT: The American Dream Redux.


Each lecture is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Film and Discussion sessions are 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Film and Discussion sessions with * are 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Total real hours (including breaks)= 106 hours.

Description of Modules

CS Introduction to Cultural Studies
The Introduction to Cultural Studies Module introduces students to the academic discipline of Cultural Studies. Cultural
Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of culture and power, drawing upon different academic disciplines to
explore and analyze the cultural meanings that articulate society through time.

Students are introduced to the origins of cultural studies as a field of research, as well as to the concepts that have shaped its
developmentconcepts such as power, representation, and cultural text. They also become familiar, and are able to
recognize, the main theoretical trends influencing cultural studies over the history of the discipline, including Marxism,
structuralism, and post-structuralism. In terms of methodology, students are introduced to the tenets of feminist,
postmodern, and postcolonial thought, and are shown how these ideas can be applied in the analysis of cultural texts.

The Introduction to Cultural Studies Module also introduces students to the concepts and ideas related to race, ethnicity,
gender, sexuality and identity in America. Students explore how geographical space has been used to construct
nationhoodand, at the same time, how marginalized groups have contested, and rearticulated the meaning of those spaces.

The goal of this module is to give students a basic set of conceptual tools to be able to think about the cultural matrix of the
United States critically, and as a site where meanings are produced, identities and subjectivities are formed and power
consolidated and/or contested.

ACSTT American Culture and Society Through Time


The American Culture and Society Through Time module introduces students, broadly speaking, to the history of the
United States, and examines historical events and experiences (and texts) from a cultural perspectivefocusing on the
dominant paradigms that have shaped each cultural epoch, from its protestant beginnings, its republican coming of age, to
the industrial, and post-industrial modern era.

The American Society and Culture through Time module (ACSTT) divides the history of the United States into five chapters:

The Colonial Era


The American Revolution: A New Republic
Nineteenth Century America: Coming of Age
Industrialization and Modern America
Post-Modern America: A Time of Inflection

In this module, students learn how American society, broadly speaking, was formed and transformed across time. They
become familiar with how early America was constituted by a Christian sense of mission during the Colonial Era, which then
coalesced into an increasingly secular, commercial, and modern society capable of transforming and subjugating an entire
continentand beyond. This modern cultural paradigm, which proved decisive in the American Revolution of 1776,
expanded into the realm of everyday life during Nineteenth Century America, as a society with marketsdespite much
resistance and civil disobediencebecame a society defined by markets. After the Civil War, this market society was
crystallized by Industrialization and the promise of Modern America, which radically altered traditional practices and
social/labor relations, as well as the environment. And as the eruption of a mass consumer culture, fed by the needs of
industry, came to dominate the American ideological landscape, voices of resistance (usually from the oppressed within and
without) surfaced to challenge the structures of American industrial power, subaltern voices gathering strength, through
victories and defeats, to redefine the meaning of America. This redefinition came to a head in the latter half of the 20th
century, as modern America entered into a Time of Inflectionwhere social, cultural, and technological revolutions disclosed
an entirely new, and uncertain, trajectory.

AWW Academic Writing Workshop


The Academic Writing Workshop (AWW) is a module that focuses on improving the students writing and research skills,
and accompanies him/her throughout the semester in the development of an academic writing projectthe programs
primary evaluation.

Throughout the semester, students will meet with an academic writing specialist, who will introduce and guide them
through the different stages of the writing process, focusing on grammar and discourse, and ultimately helping them to
develop their research topics, questions, rough drafts, and final academic writing project.

CPR Controlling Processes and Resistance


The Controlling Processes and Resistance module introduces students to the concepts of social control and cultural control
(and social and cultural resistance), and encourages them to apply these concepts to American society in particular, and to
industrialized societies in general. The identification and analysis of controlling processes are essential for understanding
modern industrial societies like the United States, where citizens are increasingly vulnerable to a variety of cultural
manipulations, thanks in part to the power of the mass media and other hegemonic discourses reproduced within different
institutional contexts.

Cultural meanings in industrial societies are hegemonicthey constitute, and are at the same time the means to achieve,
power by influencing and persuading individuals and groups to participate in their own domination. In a society where
individuals focus primarily on (and scrutinize) individual choices and practices, powerful elites and/or institutions have
been able to manipulate cultural meanings in order to control citizens with a remarkable degree of success.

The Controlling Processes and Resistance module (CPR), then, explores the role that these cultural and social controlling
processes have played, and still play, in specific areas of American society, including the institution of slavery and mass
incarceration, the media, the economy, the law, the education system, science, technology, the political system, and in foreign
policyas well as the forms and strategies of counter-hegemonic resistance to them.

The role of individuals and groups whoas Americans (or Native Americans)have fought for justice, fair treatment,
inclusion and a better life for themselves and others has been of paramount importance and constitutes a vehicle for
counter-hegemonic resistance. Throughout American history, the dominant, hegemonic discourses have been contested and
re-articulated by individuals and groups who, in the process, have achieved great things and effected real change.

As a result, however, these dominant discourses have sometimes shifted and new forms of control and exploitation have
arisen, especially thanks to new technologies, and their ability to redefine the general consensus as to what is important and
what is at stake.

The goal of this module is to identify some of these often-implicit processes and to understand what role they play in the
production and reproduction of American culture.

AITOW Americans in Their Own Words


The Americans in their Own Words (AITOW) module is designed to introduce students to a variety of American
experiences, and American individuals, or groups, who have, using their own words (or literary expressions, images, or
films, or music, etc), contributed to American culture in a general senseas part of their struggle to resist oppression, or as
part of an intellectual or artistic necessity to make sense of the changing world.

To understand American culture is to understand, to a large extent, a) the subjective experiences of different groups and
individuals; b) how these groups or individuals internalize, articulate, and re-articulate, the meanings of differences vis--vis
the dominant culture; and c) how their struggles, and their literary/cultural expressions, have contributed to history and,
ultimately, to the fundamental cultural changes that have taken place in the United States.

This module will focus on visions that express, from distinctive points of view, what it means to be an American living in
America at different moments in time.


AHAG American Hegemony Across the Globe
The American Hegemony Across the Globe module (AHAG) explores how American culture has helped to shape and
influence the entire globe, especially through the production and diffusion of an increasingly globalizing popular culture
whose values and worldviews impact the articulation of local meanings and social relations.

The module also examines the role of American culture in the reproduction of ideologies and dogmas that lead to military
and economic interventions across the globe. The role of the development discourse (and the modernization project), which
came to dominate much of the post-colonial and post-war global agenda (led by the United States), became a significant
instrument in American foreign policywith serious repercussions in the so-called developing world. The Cold War
paradigm is another example of such hegemonic influences, enabling the acceptance and promotion (within American
society) of catastrophic and devastating wars (with little to no real rationale behind them), as well as military coups that
subverted democratic movements across the world in the name of American Interests.

Economic globalization (along with institutions like the World Bank, the WTO, the IMF, the international credit rating
agencies, global finance, trans-national corporations, etc.) and the so-called neoliberal revolution of the 1980s and 1990s
are other examples of the instruments of American power in the world, as local and national state interests are often
sacrificed in the name of free trade, economic growth (for whom and with what social and environmental consequences?),
and direct foreign investment and foreign control over basic services and primary resources.

Finally, the post 9-11 climate in American society allowed for the emergence of a devastating so-called War on Terror
campaign with unlimited scope and capable of silencing internal and external dissent with a remarkable degree of
efficiencyfurther expanding American military presence in the Middle East, radicalizing more groups across the region,
and destabilizing entire countries.

The goal of this module is to help develop a critical stance towards the ideological and historical processes that are at the
root of American military, economic, and cultural hegemony in the worlda stance that can help to develop a more
complete understanding of how American culture influences the ideas, the values, and hence the actions of individuals
and/or groups who do not necessarily share the same history, language, or culture of the United States.

FD Film and Discussion


The Film and Discussion module consists of Saturday morning discussion sessions where films, themes and issues related
to the other modules are screened, analyzed, and discussed by students and faculty. The module is designed to create a
space for students to reflect, analyze, share opinions and defend arguments. Different themes, concepts, and experiences can
coalesce around these discussion sessions as the semester unfolds; the films/series to be screened (see below) were chosen
on the basis of how well they reflect specific issues and/or experiences that link them to each of the other modules.

Program Fees

CLP$ 750.000* per student.

CLP$ 700.000* (for former Universidad de Chile students or faculty).

*Students must pay tuition in full (or set-up payment plan) BEFORE program begins on August 16th**.

**Payment plans (layaway with certified checks) available.