Academics > Curriculum

Courses in American Studies

The American Studies major offers an exploration of American civilization in a structured, integrated manner and allows the freedom of choice desirable in this broadly interdepartmental major. The major emphasizes analysis, critical thinking, research, and writing.  American Studies majors will American Studies majors will gain:

  • a critical knowledge of American culture and history
  • the ability to situate America within a global context

American Studies Major

  1. AMS-107 Introduction to American Studies
  2. HIS-145 History of the United States to 1865
  3. HIS-155 History of the United States Since 1865
  4. One American literature course from the English Department, chosen in consultation with the American Studies coordinating panel.
  5. AMS-217 Topics in American Studies: United States Pluralism
  6. Two terms of AMS-100 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium
  7. Five additional courses that focus on American culture, chosen in consultation with the American Studies coordinating panel
    a)  One course must be from the United States Pluralism group (See p. 38)
    b)  One course must be in economics (ECO), political science (POL), sociology (SOC), or teacher education (EDU)
    c)  Two courses must be at the upper division level, chosen in consultation with the American Studies coordinating panel.
  8. AMS-400 Integrative American Studies

American Studies Minor

  1. AMS-107 Introduction to American Studies
  2. AMS-2X7 Topics in American Studies: United States Pluralism
  3. One additional American Studies (AMS) course
  4. One term of AMS-010 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium
  5. Three additional courses that focus on American culture, chosen in consultation with the American Studies panel.  One course must be from the United States Pluralism group.

Courses in American Studies

AMS-100  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium
A course in which students discuss readings, develop projects, and make presentations related to interdisciplinary and departmental majors such as American Studies, Gender Studies, and African-American Studies.  May be repeated for credit for a maximum of 1.0 credit.  (0.2 course credit)

AMS-107 Introduction to American Studies
An analysis of American culture.  Students interrogate what it means to be American, exploring key debates regarding definitions of American identity.   Do Americans share a common culture and represent a unified character, or do our differences outweigh what unites us?   This course introduces students to theories and interdisciplinary methods of American Studies that encompass perspectives ranging from literature and history to art and popular culture.

AAM/AMS-217, -317 Topics in African American Studies
Specific topics vary from year to year. Students apply theories and methods of culture studies to a selected major topic in American culture.  This course focuses primarily on literary and historical texts.

AMS-400 Integrative American Studies
The capstone of the major. Allows faculty and students maximum flexibility in exploring ways to integrate their knowledge of American civilization. Considers a specific era, issue, or institution in American history through examination of historical, sociological, literary, and popular works. Prerequisite: open to all American Studies majors; open to others by consent of instructor. (Offered Spring Term)

AMS-8_5 Independent Study
Independent work on a selected project under the supervision of the American Studies Committee.