Diversity Studies Seminar

American Gangster

Instructor: Sean Nash
SF / DIVSM–300 / 15 sessions
Prerequisite: Writing 1, Intro to Modern Arts, Foundations in Critical Studies
June 1–July 3, Mon./Wed./Fri., 2–5 p.m.

This course surveys American criminal culture from frontier contact through the financial crises of the current era. From the boardwalk to the boardroom, various ethnic groups have utilized black market economies to segue into social mobility.

Is the current rash of corporate malfeasance connected to a new wave of American criminality? Or are the tools we have for understanding and assessing the impact of corporate crime just getting better? Did the promotion of violence in TV, film, and popular music affect the formation of the modern American psyche? How different is crime today than it was at the turn of the 20th century?

Is crime always a response to the pressure brought on by economic downturns? How does the glamorization of gangster culture impact the moral development of our youth? Join us for a discussion of these and related topics, and for an exploration of the stereotypes that dominate media on the subject. (3 credits)

This course satisfies the Diversity Studies seminar requirement or a Humanities & Sciences Elective.