BELLEVUE COLLEGE Fall, 2009
AMERICAN STUDIES J. Cofer
Office: R 230 I Tel.: 425 564-4186
(Hours: 11:30 to 12:20 Monday through Thursday; other office hours by appointment)
American Studies web site:
SYLLABUS—AMERICAN STUDIES 286: POPULAR CULTURE:
“THE SIXTIES: THE HIPPIE COUNTERCULTURE &
AMERICAN SOCIETY” (5 cr.)
(Item 0679; TRA --12:30 to 2:40 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. R 101)
AMST 286 POPULAR CULTURE 5 CR
“Analyzes various forms of contemporary popular culture and its expression
in mass media. Specific topics may include western and romance novels,
consumerism, advertising, gender images, folklore, film and music.”
Bellevue Community College Course Catalog, 2008-2009, p. 70.
“The Sixties: The Hippie Counterculture and American Society” will focus on popular culture during the 70s, one of the most important periods in American history.
Mass popular culture (films, media, music, etc.) reflected the social, cultural, political and historical changes in American society begun in the 1960s. Films and Hollywood took on new meaning and cultural significance in the 60s, while many films of the period became classical popular culture icons. Journalism and media changed under the influence of the youth culture, primarily the hippie counterculture. The products of popular culture defined an American generation’s relationship to the troubled times of the 60s and 70s. The social activism and radical evolution of American society originated issues such as gender, the counterculture, sexuality, women’s liberation, race, ethnic identity, violence, Vietnam, Watergate, and radical student politics, all of which were reflected in the popular culture.
The “Age of Aquarius,” as the period is nicknamed, became a major influence on America, with manifestations even in today’s culture. The Sixties presented a radical transformation of America and Americans; we shall analyze this transformation through the mirror of popular culture.
Some of the topics covered in the course include the following:
2. Course Outcomes:
a. To examine the culture, history, politics, and myths of American society as
expressed in popular culture.
b. To analyze the hippie counterculture.
c. To explore the political, historical, and cultural significance of the Sixties.
d. To examine the decade of the 70s and its role in the development of American popular culture.
e. To analyze how popular culture of the 70s reflected issues of the period.
f. To develop cultural awareness and evaluate products of mass culture.
g. To develop the ability to watch films and documentaries actively and critically.
3. Course Materials: literature (fiction and nonfiction texts), films, documentaries, handout articles.
--Students are responsible for all the films and documentaries shown in class. If a student misses a class, it is the student’s responsibility to view the film.
Some materials may be unavailable outside of class. Some of the required films are available in the Library Media Center or through Netflix or Blockbuster.
--You may find that certain books, films, or other materials assigned in the course may, in whole or in part, offend you. These materials are equivalent to required texts and are essential to the course content. If you decline to view or read material you consider offensive, you are still responsible for its content, and you may not be able to participate fully in required assignments, class discussions, or exams. Essential to a liberal arts education is an open-minded tolerance for ideas and modes of expression which might conflict with one’s personal values.
4. Texts: Students need the editions indicated:
*Peter Braunstein & Michael William Doyle, Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s & 70s (ISBN 0415930405)
*David Farber and Beth Bailey, The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s (ISBN 9780231113731)
*Timothy Miller, The Hippies and American Values (ISBN 0870496948) *Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (ISBN 9780679785897)
These books are the required texts for the course, but you should also have access to a good hardbound college dictionary, e.g., The American Heritage Dictionary or Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. You should also have access to a college handbook of English, such as Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference.
5. Grading and Instructional Methods:
The final grade will be based on:
Writing Level: Writing skills are essential for student success in most college courses. While English 101 is not a prerequisite for the course, this writing level is recommended for the class. Students will be required to analyze and develop an argument using examples from the text and films in required essays. Homework essays will be assigned to prepare students for the type of analytical writing required for the course.
Course assignments are explained in detail at each class meeting. A Course Calendar is not provided in advance in order to allow for more flexibility in class. Students will be given ample time to complete all assignments, both reading and written.
*Film Analysis Essay:
--Responds to readings, film and/or documentaries.
--Analyzes aspects of American society and history as
depicted in the films and novels studied.
--Analyzes an issue or idea presented in film or in class.
--Examines novel to film adaptations.
--Standards for the essays will be discussed in class.
--All essay questions.
--Exam will cover materials presented in class, films and literature.
--Materials from documentaries will be included on the exam.
--Students may use notes from class but no books or handouts.
--Announced quizzes for each of the literary texts chosen.
--Announced or unannounced quizzes for reading assignments.
--No quizzes may be made up unless agreed upon prior to
missing the class. If this is the case, a longer paper may be
substituted for the quiz.
--Quizzes are meant to determine only if students have read
--For some quizzes, you may use notes from your reading assignments in the form of note cards or loose leaf note paper. No books or computers allowed.
5. Attendance, Assignments and Grading Policies:
“Cheating, stealing and plagiarizing (using the ideas or words of another as one’s own without crediting the source) and inappropriate/disruptive behavior are violations of the Student Code of Conduct at Bellevue College. Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to: talking out of turn, arriving late or leaving early without a valid reason, allowing cellphones/pagers to ring in class and inappropriate behavior toward the instructor or classmates. The instructor can refer any violation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Vice President of Student Services for possible probation or suspension from Bellevue College. Specific student rights, responsibilities and appeal procedures are listed in the Student Code of Conduct, available in the office of the Vice President of Student Services.” The Student Code, Policy 2050, in its entirety is located at:
http://bellevue college.edu/policies/2/2050 Student Code.asp
--All course work must be word-processed or typed.
--All assignments and essays must be turned in to pass the course.
--Graded essays must be submitted in person to the instructor. No email assignments will be accepted.
--One half grade per day late will be detracted from the graded essay.
--If you miss a class, please try to get the assignment from me or from
another student. Students are responsible for all assignments and
materials distributed in class, as well as films and documentaries viewed in class.
--Attendance will be taken at all classes.
--A final grade may be lowered by at least 1/2 letter grade (3-5 absences)
or one whole grade (6-8 absences). Too many absences may result in a
final grade of “F”.
Lateness will count as one absence. Students should be sure to be
marked late instead of absent if arriving late to class.
For two-hour classes, one absence will be recorded if students do not
return to class after the break for any reason.
Please do not allow electronic communication devices to disrupt the class; they should be put away when the class begins.
Please turn off phones before class begins; please do not manipulate cell phones or pagers during the class.
--Please do not eat in class.
6. Bellevue College Policy Statement:
“If you require accommodation based on a documented disability, have emergency medical information to share, or need special arrangements in case of emergency evacuation, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.
If you would like to inquire about becoming a DRC student, you may call 564-2498 or go in person to the DRC (Disability Resource Center) office in B132.--