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The American Studies program interprets American culture from an interdisciplinary point of view that combines critical social science and humanities approaches. The program provides a basis for graduate study in a variety of fields, as well as an excellent background for law, journalism, and other professional careers. American Studies offers an interdisciplinary major and minor. To count toward the major or minor, all courses must be passed with a grade of C or better.

The American Studies curriculum is in the process of being revised. Please refer to the American Studies webpage for the most up to date information.

interdisciplinary, 12 courses
AMST 100, 101, and 201; two courses from the American Studies introductory group; six courses from the American Studies advanced group chosen to balance between the humanities and social sciences, five of which must focus on a student defined topic; and AMST 465. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the major.

interdisciplinary, 6 courses
AMST 100 or 101, an introductory course from a field relevant to American Studies and four courses from the introductory or advanced groups, three of which center on a major issue or theme. These should include courses from two different divisions. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the minor.

Introductory Courses

ANTH 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ECON 120 Contemporary Issues
ECON 122 Economics of Caring
ECON 135 Latin American Economics
ENG 115 Literature & Social Movements
HIST 105 Introduction to the American Experience
LGBS 101 Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Studies
MDSC 100 Introduction to Media and Society
MUS 190 History of Rock & Roll
POL 110 Introduction to American Politics
PPOL 101 Democracy and Public Policy
REL 108 Religion and Alienation
REL 109 Imagining American Religion(s)
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
WMST 100 Intro to Women's Studies

Advanced Courses
AFS 211 Black Earth
AMST 206 America Through Russian Eyes
AMST 207 Baseball and American Culture
AMST 210 Sex and the City: Gender, Sexuality and Urban America at the Turn of the Century
AMST 302 Culture of Empire
AMST 310 History of Sexual Minorities in America
AMST 330 Digital Humanities
ANTH 205 Race, Class and Ethnicity
ANTH 220 Sex Roles: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 282 North American Indians
ARCH 310 Early Modern Architecture
ARCH 311 History of Modern Architecture
ARTH 201 African American Art
ARTH 211 Women in 19th Century Art & Culture
ARTH 282 American Art of the 20th-Century
BIDS 211 Labor, Domestic and Global
BIDS 233 Race, Class and Gender
ECON 212 Environmental Economics
ECON 213 Urban Economics
ECON 232 U.S. Economy: A Critical Analysis
ECON 236 Introduction to Radical Political Economy
ECON 248 Poverty and Welfare
ECON 305 Political Economy
ECON 313 African American Economic History
ECON 331 Institutional Economics
ECON 338 Economics of Nonprofit Sector
ENG 381 Sexuality and American Literature
EDUC 209 Gender & Schooling
EDUC 370 Multiculturalism
ENG 104 Literature and Social Movements
ENG 165 Introduction to African American Literature I
ENG 180 Film Analysis
ENG 212 Literature of Sexual Minorities
ENG 239 Popular Fiction
ENG 250 American Literature to Melville
ENG 259 Literature of the Gilded Age
ENG 260 American Literature from Crane
ENG 264 Southern Fictions
ENG 266 Modernist American Poetry
ENG 267 Post World War II American Poetry
ENG 280 Film Analysis
ENG 281 Film Histories I
ENG 282 Film Histories II
ENG 283 Film Histories III
ENG 303 - Cultural Theory and Popular Culture
ENG 383 Science Fiction Film
ENV 240 Environmental Justice in Film
FRE 242 Introduction to Quebec Studies
FRNE 218 Culture and Identity in French Caribbean Literature and Society
HIST 205 Modern Mexican History
HIST 208 Women in American History
HIST 215 American Urban History
HIST 226 Latin American Colonial History
HIST 227 African American History I
HIST 228 African American History II: The Modern Era
HIST 231 Modern Latin American History
HIST 233 History of American Thought to 1865
HIST 234 History of American Thought Since 1865
HIST 240 Immigration and Ethnicity in America
HIST 246 American Environmental History
HIST 300 Race & Violence in American History
HIST 304 The Early National Republic: 1789-1840
HIST 306 Civil War and Reconstruction: 1845-1877
HIST 310 Rise of Industrial America
HIST 311 20th-Century America: 1917-1941
HIST 312 The U.S. Since 1939
HIST 314 Aquarian Age: The United States in the 1960s
HIST 340 Faulkner and Southern Historical Consciousness
HIST 341 Beyond Sprawl
HIST 352 Wealth, Power and Prestige
HIST 471 Civil War in American History
LTAM 210 Latin American Perspectives
POL 203 Campaigns and Elections
POL 204 Modern American Conservatism
POL 211 Visions of the City
POL 215 Racial and Ethnic Politics
POL 222 Political Parties
POL 224 American Congress
POL 225 American Presidency
POL 229 State and Local Government
POL 236 Urban Politics
POL 238 Sex and Power
POL 270 African American Political Thought
POL 290 American Foreign Policy
POL 320 Mass Media
POL 332 American Constitutional Law
POL 333 Civil Rights
POL 334 Civil Liberties
POL 363 Digital Networks
POL 366 Theories of American Democracy
PPOL 219 Sexual Minority Movements
PPOL 328 Environmental Policy
PPOL 364 Community Activism
REL 272 The Sociology of the American Jew
REL 278 Jewish Life and Thought in Modern Times
SOC 206 Kids and Contention
SOC 221 Sociology of Minorities
SOC 223 Inequalities
SOC 224 Social Deviance
SOC 225 Sociology of the Family
SOC 226 Sociology of Sex and Gender
SOC 241 Sociology of Sport
SOC 242 Sociology of Business Management
SOC 244 Religion in American Society
SOC 245 Sociology of Work
SOC 249 Technology and Society
SOC 251 Sociology of the City
SOC 258 Social Problems
SOC 261 Sociology of Education
SOC 262 Criminology
SOC 263 Juvenile Delinquency
SOC 271 Sociology of Environmental Issues
SOC 290 Sociology of Community
WMST 150 Chicana Feminism and Visual Culture
WMST 204 Politics of Health
WMST 219 Black Feminism and Theatre
WMST 309 Ecofeminism
WMST 323 Research in Social Psychology
WMST 357 Self in American Culture

There may be additional newer courses with substantial American content not listed here; students who wish to count such courses toward their American Studies major or minor are welcome to speak to Professor Patterson.

AMST 100 History and Form of American Culture This course discusses the origins and development of the dominant cultural institutions of the United States, particularly the evolution and impact of the mass media and advertising and the way in which mass culture perpetuates systems of domination based on class, race, and gender. (Staff, Fall, offered annually)

AMST 101 Myths and Paradoxes How do we study American culture though an interdisciplinary lens? How do American ideals-such as freedom and individualism-relate to American inequalities? Is "America" itself a place or an idea? This introductory course in American Studies will engage a number o questions that are central to an evolving field by focusing on tensions and contradictions in American culture. Students will examine core American concepts, such as the "American Dream," "freedom and equality," immigration and the "melting pot," as well as infrastructures like consumer culture, democracy, and national borders. The course also introduces students to American Studies methods through close interdisciplinary analysis of a variety of cultural artifacts, such as popular fiction, leisure, music, performance, propaganda or social practices. Readings will be drawn from a range of sources, including politics, history, popular culture, literature, media studies, and contemporary theory. (Staff, offered annually)

AMST 201 Methods of American Studies This class will consider how American Studies scholars, think, argue, research and write. It begins by examining the history of American studies, reading the classical works and then explores the major intellectual and methodological questions of the field. Course materials include the "classics" in American Studies scholarship from the 20th century as well as readings in the "myth and symbol" school, literary and feminist critiques, material culture, popular culture, questions of empire and the nation, and critical race studies. Students will also be introduce to research in the field, learning the basic archival and research techniques underlying interdisciplinary research methods and exploring the limitations and benefits of the different methodological tools we use to study America. (Staff, offered annually)

AMST 206 America Through Russian Eyes How do you define America? Does your definition mesh with what the rest of the world might think? This course explores American culture and identify through readings and films by American and Russian poets, novelists, and directors. From Red scares through the Cold War and Evil Empire all the way to the New Russians, twentieth-and twenty-first-century Americans and Russians have shared a deep mutual fascination, and have often defined themselves via contrast with the forbidding, alluring Other. We will study travelogues, memoirs, novels, stories, and films by artists as diverse as John Steinbeck, Langston Hughes, Gary Shteyngart, Ellen Litman, and Aleksei Balabanov, using these works to refine our own understanding of American culture. All readings and discussions will be in English. Register for either AMST 206 (prerequisite: AMST 100 or AMST 101) or RUSE 206 (prerequisite: RUSE 112 or HIST 263). (Welsh, offered alternate years)

AMST 207 Baseball and American Culture This class focuses on baseball and its relationship to American culture. For a long time, baseball has been the quintessential American game. In this class, we will examine the role (s) of technology, media, culture and nationalism in explaining the unique role of baseball to the American identify. (Deutchman and Hatch)

AMST 210 Sex and the City: Gender, Sexuality and Urban America at the Turn of the Century In 1926 shop girl Lilly Dache stood on the streets of New York and proclaimed “I was in love with the city and I did not need a man.” Ninety years later, HBO heroine Carrie Bradshaw remarked: "If you can only have one great love then this city just may be mine.” For women the modern city has been both a site of possibility and a site of risk. On one hand, the anonymity of the modern city has made it a space of illicit sexualities and nonconformist gender practices. At the same time, the structures and cultures of cities often inscribe normative gender and sexuality. Through readings in urban theory, social history, women’s studies, geography, and sociology we will explore how gender and sexuality are constitutive of and by urban form and urban life.. Readings comprise primarily of secondary sources, supplemented by in-class primary source readings and visual material. Topics covered include prostitution, gay and lesbian sexualities, public and private space, sexual violence, and race. (Offered annually)

AMST 302 The Culture of Empire This course traces the history of racist attitudes in the United States and their impact on Native Americans, African Americans, and the people of the Philippines, Japan, and Vietnam. This course requires active participation in classroom discussions and a substantial research paper. (Offered alternate years)

AMST 330 Digital Humanities The term “digital humanities” has a plethora of different definitions, ranging from the idea of using digital tools to perform traditional humanities work; studying modes of new media as objects of humanistic inquiry; and a new culture and ethos of collaboration. In this course we’ll be using the tools of digital technologies to extend our inquiry into the cultural productions of the United States. Through a mix of seminar discussions, hands-on tutorials, and project-based work, this course will provide students with theoretical and practical foundations for working in the Digital Humanities, covering topics such as digitization, encoding, analysis, and visualization. The centerpiece of this class will be a digital humanities project: you will do you own original research into nineteenth century dime novels to make an on-line exhibit for our library.  Creating this project will teach you the skills of humanities scholars- research, writing and analyzing and will let you put this knowledge to work.  No technical background is required. (Berlanger, Offered annually)

AMST 360 Art, Memory, and Cultural Power of Place This course focuses on the public work of American Studies; the techniques, concerns and practical issues of engaged scholars. Working with city residents and community members, students will explore community cultural development. How do communities make decisions about what is worth saving, worth remember and why? How do these narratives and memories shape and transform common understandings of place? In turn, how do common understandings of place dictate the usage and extent of community control over its neighborhood? Struggles over the meaning and usage of place serve as a catalyst for conversations about how historical narrative is crafted in communities often overlooked by conventional histories. Narrations of the past help people imagine a place of heir own, while cultural expression in the arts help people articulate these visions. Thus, over the course of the semester we will also examine how art gives voice to those on the margins of history, how history can infuse art with meaning and relevance, and how power of place can be used to revitalize our cities and neighborhoods. Students will also be introduced to the work of public scholars in the fields of community cultural development, historic preservations and museum studies, examine the contexts-public policy and economics-that shape the work of non-profit cultural organizations.

As service-learning course, student will work with community partners on a project that addresses community needs. In the process they will explore not only how community is created and preserved in objects, buildings, sites and memories, but also the power of place to render community visible.

AMST 465 Senior Seminar: Issues in American Studies (Offered annually)