Spring 2016 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Smith, Erin
Discipline and Number
HUSL 7372 Section 501
R Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
American Cultural Studies

Description of Course:


HUSL 7372.501 American Cultural Studies: The Cold War

This course offers both an overview of the cultures of the Cold-War United States and an introduction to the interdisciplinary theories and methodologies used by cultural studies scholars. We consider best-selling books, magazines, advertising, television, Hollywood films, sports, material culture, and popular music. Topics include: norms about gender and sexuality; the post-War religious revival and its co-existence with increasingly secular ways of being in the world; efforts to contain communism at home and abroad; race and early civil rights activity; class and consumption in burgeoning suburbs.

Required Texts:



David Riesman et al, The Lonely Crowd (1950)
Mickey Spillane, One Lonely Night (1951)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking (1952)
Tereska Torres, Women’s Barracks (1952)
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
Evelyn Piper, Bunny Lake Is Missing (1957)
John Updike, Rabbit Run (1960)
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)
Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo (1972)
Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific (1958)
I Love Lucy episodes

Secondary (excerpts from):

William J. Maxwell, F. B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature (2015)
Melani McAlister, Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U.S. Interests in the Middle East since 1945 (2005)
Christina Klein, Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination. 1945-1961 (2003)
Greg Branhisel, Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature and American Cultural Diplomacy (2015)
Greg Castillo, Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design (2010)
Dianne Harris, Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America (2013)
Alan Nadel, Containment Culture: American Narratives, Postmodernism, and the Atomic Age (1995)
Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold-War Era (2008)
Lynn Spigel, Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America (1992)
Sean McCann, Gumshoe America: Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Rise and Fall on New Deal Liberalism (2000)
James Gilbert, Men in the Middle: Searching for Masculinity in the 1950s (2005)
Penny Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (2006)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

seminar attendance, preparation and participation
class presentation
book review (5 pages)
prospectus and final conference paper(10-12 pages)

© The University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts and Humanities.
No part of this website can be copied or reproduced without permisssion.