American Studies

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SHORT TERM INTERNSHIPS AT THE UNITED NATIONS

For the past eight years, Muhlenberg placed interested American Studies and International Studies majors in short-term internships at the UN, working with DoCip (Documents for Indigenous Peoples) a Geneva based, non-governmental organization. The students have performed whatever tasks have been needed of them, from information technology to clerical work and message deliveries. DoCip has also enlisted our students as interpreters in Spanish, French, and Russian to help process tribes’ and NGOs’ oral and written reports for distribution to all those who attend the conference. Paticipating students have subsequently been hired by NGOs and placed in graduate programs where they have pursued advanced study in areas addressed by the Permanent Forum.  These students gained a great deal from the exposure to this extraordinary political event, the cultural and legal aspects of which have provided not only memorable learning experiences but connections and friendships that they continue to enjoy. We plan to continue this program into the foreseeable future.

 

CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN AMERICAN STUDIES IN FALL 2013: NARRATIVES OF A RAGING DECADE: FICTION AND FILM OF THE SIXTIES (PROFESSOR MARY LAWLOR)

This seminar will study representations in fiction and film of the 1960s, the decade that broke the back of “the American Century,” as Henry Luce famously named the twentieth century. Beginning with Richard Yates’s 1961 retrospective on the the fifties in Revolutionary Road, the syllabus will tour historic moments and iconic motifs of 1960s life and culture. Over the course of the semester we’ll consider several questions. What shifts in the cultural meanings of American power came about in the early part of the decade? What were the genealogies of the building rage in many sectors of US life toward the mid-sixties? How do post-sixties narratives of the decade help sustain the after-life of ideological binaries born in that time? Readings and viewings will combine works produced during the decade with retrospectives written and filmed in later years. In addition to Revolutionary Road, the syllabus will include John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate, Don DeLillo’s Libra, Oliver Stone’s JFK, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, E.L. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel, Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider, and Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool, among other works.

SOPHOMORE SEMINAR IN AMERICAN STUDIES IN SPRING 2013: LIVING THE LOCAL IN ALLENTOWN (PROFESSOR SUSAN CLEMENS)

The Sophomore Seminar in American Studies will be titled "Living the Local in Allentown" and will be taught by Professor Clemens.  The seminar will offer an interdisciplinary study of the town where we live, focusing on the history, music, politics, and cultures of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.


For further questions, contact Professor Lawlor at lawlor@muhlenberg.edu.