Sandra M. Falero, Ph.D.
Theory and Methods of American Studies
Popular Culture Studies
Ethnographic Research & Writing
Digital Media and the Web
California History and Culture
U.S. Women’s History
Critical Race Theories
U.S. Social Movements
Courses I Teach @ CSU Fullerton
Each semester is different, but the following courses
can usually be found somewhere on my schedule.
If you are a student interested in taking my courses,
please feel free to email me to ask which sections I'm teaching
or to request a sample syllabus.
I teach the following courses
AMST 101 - Introduction to American Culture Studies
A lower-division course introducing American Studies methods. This course is designed to explore the variety of methods used in American Studies works, focusing on the interdisciplinary approach. Students do self-guided projects based on core methods such as historical document analysis, oral history, ethnography, literary criticism, and a final project that combines two or more methods. This course requires several papers and a final research project.
AMST 300 - Introduction to American Popular Culture
An upper-division course exploring the history of popular culture in America. My approach examines the political, artistic, and market-driven history of popular culture in America, focusing on the complex relationship between popular art forms and their audiences. Though the course explores a variety of time periods and media forms, methods of cultural and textual analysis are woven throughout. Sample topics include Trekkies, blackface minstrelsy, romance novels, gangster films, video games, and digital communities. This course requires short papers, a midterm, final, and participation.
AMST 320 - Women in American Society
This upper-division course examines cultural notions of American womanhood. Beginning in the 18th century and continuing chronologically to the present, my approach involves a diversity of women across the strata of race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Like most of my courses there is a focus on media and digital culture. Sample topics in the schedule include Latina identity, women video gamers/designers, feminist music, and feminist film criticism. This course requires short papers, a midterm, final, and participation.
AMST 395 - California Cultures
An upper-division course that examines how a variety of cultures have interacted in California's past and present. My course took a chronological approach, starting with the cultures of native peoples and moving through conquest, the mission system, and statehood. Special areas of focus included political activism, changing notions of gender and race, as well as a discussion of cultural myths, specifically the representation of California and California history in popular culture. This course requires short papers, a midterm, and a final paper.
AMST 442 - Television and American Culture
An upper-division course (as well as a popular elective for graduate students) that explores television as an interactive form of cultural expression. This course examines the history and technology of television, cultural representations and values, popular story forms, television's relationship to democracy and capitalism, as well as the changing relationship between television and its audiences. We also discuss new avenues for television in the digital age. Sample topics include: crime drama, television news, social change on TV, reality programming, and serial dramas. This course requires short papers, a midterm, and a final research paper and participation.
AMST 445 - The Cold War in American Culture
An upper-division course exploring the period from roughly 1945-1991. This course presents an interdisciplinary approach to the social, political, and cultural upheavals during that period, particularly around nuclear fears and anti-communism. The atom bomb and the perceptions of the Soviet threat had ripple effects that can be seen in everything from city planning to gender to entertainment in American life. We examine a variety of Cold War artifacts in this course, including but not limited to film, television, art, literature, as well as the work of popular critics and intellectuals. This course requires short papers, a midterm, final project, and participation.