AMS 151: American Landscapes and Places
Special Topic: Yosemite

Instructor: Dr. John Stenzel

Fall 2000 Office: Voorhies 379
Meeting Time: MW 10-11:50 Office Hours: W 1:30-3, R 9:30-11 and by appointment
Classroom: 101 Olson Telephone: 2-1954 office, (510) 548-8936 home


See catalog; if you have questions about your eligibility, see the appropriate advisor.

Text and materials:

Reading packets will be photocopied and made available with minimal inconvenience, usually in class.

Field Trip:

Exact plan pending, I am planning a field trip (Friday afternoon-Sunday afternoon) for the first weekend in November (November 3-5). Participation strongly encouraged, but other options closer to home will be available if such a trip proves too much of a hardship

Course Goals:

Our work in this course will be to explore various theoretical approaches to reading the "discourses" or "texts" of public space and landscape, always using Yosemite as a key example to ground our work. In this "reading" process, we will also hone analytical writing skills, to apply interdisciplinary approaches in a rigorous and insightful way. See flyer for more specific questions we will be attempting to answer.


All graded assignments count toward the final grade in the course, and I will make every effort to apply the same grading standards throughout the term. I will, however, take into account any significant improvement when figuring the final grade. I evaluate each student's work independently, not on the basis of a curve. Assignments will be weighted as follows:

Writing Assignments:

All outside essays should be printed out, double-spaced, with a 1.5" left margin to allow for comments. When a rough draft is due, it should be a complete draft--not notes, not an outline, not a paragraph or two–and you'll get better feedback on it if it's clearly legible. For your own protection and mine, you MUST keep a hard-copy of any out-of-class work before giving me the original.
Note: You must turn in all work to pass this course! You must hand in work as it is due, not in a flurry at the end. Incompletes are given only for verifiable medical emergencies, and then only subject to Department guidelines.


Regular, punctual attendance is a requirement for this course. I consider class time very important; this is a workshop class, not just a lecture, and I expect active, thoughtful participation. If you miss (or sleep through) more than two classes, expect to see your grade reflect your choice. You are responsible for any assignments (or syllabus changes) made in your absence. You are responsible for the material on any quizzes or exercises you miss.
Coded 18 Oct 2000