American Studies

This program is designed to encourage and support the interdisciplinary study of American culture. It draws upon the expertise of faculty in various disciplines and strives to understand the institutions, values, and beliefs that have shaped the experiences of U.S. residents. Recognizing the diverse and pluralistic nature of our society, the American Studies program enables the student to construct an interdisciplinary major around topics of the student's own choice such as urban studies, ethnicity, media, religion, gender roles, environmental thought or some other aspect of the American experience. The program supports interdisciplinary courses taught by Carleton faculty and it brings to campus nationally known visiting artists and scholars under the auspices of the Fred C. Andersen Foundation.

Requirements for the American Studies Major

American Studies is an interdisciplinary major which a student constructs from offerings in two or more departments of instruction. Students take both core courses in the field of American Studies and additional courses from one of five broad, thematic streams (listed below). This theme will both provide additional structure and points of comparison and a foundation for a comprehensive exercise.

Majors must complete 69 credits in the following general areas:

I. Core Courses: Each student must complete all of these:

  • AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies or AMST 287 California Art and Visual Culture (offered as part of the "Visions of California" OCS Program) one or the other of these is a prerequisite for AMST 345 and AMST 396.
  • AMST 345 Theory and Practice of American Studies
  • AMST 396 Junior Research Seminar
  • AMST 398 Advanced Research in American Studies
  • AMST 399 Senior Seminar in American Studies
  • AMST 400 Colloquium and Integrative Exercise in American Studies (3 credits, to be taken in winter term of the senior year, along with AMST 399.) A senior may choose:
    • Essay or Project Option: a 35-40 page essay on an approved topic; or an approved project (e.g., a critical documentary, radio narrative, web design project, performance piece, or academic civic engagement project) accompanied by a 15-20 page essay. Open only to students who receive approval of a project prospectus.
    • Examination Option: A written examination given early in spring term

II. Survey Courses: Students must take three survey courses. Two of these courses must come from a single department. Students will also take a one-term survey course from a different department. Because the entire range of these survey courses is not offered every year, students should consult the online catalog and plan accordingly.

  • HIST 116 Intro to Indigenous Histories, 1887-present
  • HIST 120 Rethinking the American Experience: American History, 1607-1865 (not offered in 2020-21)
  • HIST 121 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1865-1945 (not offered in 2020-21)
  • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2020-21)
  • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2020-21)
  • HIST 125 African American History I: From Africa to the Civil War
  • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2020-21)
  • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I
  • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2020-21)

One-term survey courses:

  • AMST 254 The 1930s: Social and Cultural Impact of the Great Depression
  • ARTH 160 American Art to 1940 (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ENGL 117 African American Literature (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
  • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
  • MUSC 126 America's Music
  • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2020-21)

III. Topical Courses: Each student must take twenty-four credits that deal with elements of the American experience from one of the thematic streams below. Courses that will fulfill this requirement are listed under each group. No more than six of these credits may be from a 100-level course. (Survey courses above and beyond those used to satisfy the required one-term and two-term sequences may count as a Topical Course.) Students must take courses from at least two departments. In order that majors acquire the research skills necessary to complete the major, six of these twenty-four credits must be at the 300-level.

  • Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity: What is the relationship between race and ethnicity and U.S. cultures? Students will look at these questions in a comparative and interdisciplinary framework. Concentrators in this area should take a combination of courses that will allow them to comparatively assess the experiences of at least two ethno-racial groups in America.  
    • AFST 112 Black Revolution on Campus (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 204 What’s Race Got To Do With It?: Constructing Communities that Discard Lives
    • AMST 218 Asian American Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 231 Contemporary Indigenous Activism (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 244 Approaches to Indigenous Studies
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship
    • AMST 269 Woodstock Nation
    • ECON 262 The Economics of Sports (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 330 Refugee and Immigrant Experiences in Faribault, MN
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 230 Studies in African American Literature: From the 1950s to the Present
    • ENGL 233 Writing and Social Justice (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 241 Latinx Voices in the Age of Trump
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction
    • ENGL 258 Playwrights of Color: Taking the Stage
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • GWSS 398 Capstone: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture
    • HIST 116 Intro to Indigenous Histories, 1887-present
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 125 African American History I: From Africa to the Civil War
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 127 The Roaring Twenties & the Rough Thirties in U.S. History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 203 American Indian Education (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 211 Revolts and Resistance in Early America
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 214 Sport and the Color Line (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 220 From Blackface to Blaxploitation: Black History and/in Film (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 225 James Baldwin and Black Lives Matter (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 301 Indigenous Histories at Carleton
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz
    • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 136 History of Rock (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 232 Golden Age of R & B
    • MUSC 246 Music in Racism and Antiracism
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival (not offered in 2020-21)
    • PHIL 228 Freedom and Alienation in Black American Philosophy
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 202 Tools of National Power: Statecraft and Diplomatic Power
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2020 United States Election
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 275 Black Radical Political Thought, 1919-1969 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 306 The Psychology of Identity Politics and Group Behavior
    • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights*
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
    • RELG 239 Religion & American Landscape
    • SOAN 100 Asian Americans
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience
    • SOAN 288 Diversity, Democracy, Inequality in America
    • SOAN 325 Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction
    • SPAN 206 Civic Engagement, Social Change, and the Participatory Video (not offered in 2020-21)
    • THEA 227 Theatre for Social Change
    • WGST 389 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture (not offered in 2020-21)
  • Democracy, Activism, and Class: How does a longstanding American Studies emphasis on engaged scholarship reveal the relationships of politics, capitalism and power? This theme investigates the emergence of social groups and their political struggles at the local and national levels emphasizing the themes of power, inequality, and social justice. 
    • AMST 231 Contemporary Indigenous Activism (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 254 The 1930s: Social and Cultural Impact of the Great Depression
    • AMST 256 Walt Whitman's New York
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship
    • AMST 269 Woodstock Nation
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 270 Economics of the Public Sector
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 330 Refugee and Immigrant Experiences in Faribault, MN
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 230 Studies in African American Literature: From the 1950s to the Present
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 241 Latinx Voices in the Age of Trump
    • GWSS 212 Foundations of LGBTQ Studies
    • GWSS 334 Feminist Theory
    • GWSS 398 Transnational Feminist Activism
    • HIST 116 Intro to Indigenous Histories, 1887-present
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 125 African American History I: From Africa to the Civil War
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 127 The Roaring Twenties & the Rough Thirties in U.S. History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 213 Politics and Protest in the New Nation
    • HIST 214 Sport and the Color Line (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 220 From Blackface to Blaxploitation: Black History and/in Film (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History
    • HIST 301 Indigenous Histories at Carleton
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 307 Advanced Wilderness Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 337 Music in Social Movements (not offered in 2020-21)
    • PHIL 228 Freedom and Alienation in Black American Philosophy
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 202 Tools of National Power: Statecraft and Diplomatic Power
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2020 United States Election
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 208 Presidential Elections, Gridlock and Policy Strategy (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 209 Money and Politics
    • POSC 210 Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 213 Psychology of Mass Political Behavior
    • POSC 216 Politics in the Post-Truth Society
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy
    • POSC 266 Urban Political Economy
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 275 Black Radical Political Thought, 1919-1969 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 306 The Psychology of Identity Politics and Group Behavior
    • POSC 315 Polarization, Parties, and Power*
    • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 357 Politics and Ambition* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 240 Investing in God: American Religion and Economic Life (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 206 Critical Perspectives on Work in the Twenty-first Century
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 288 Diversity, Democracy, Inequality in America
    • SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology
    • SOAN 350 Diversity, Democracy, and Inequality in America (not offered in 2020-21)
    • THEA 227 Theatre for Social Change
  • Space and Place: How is space organized, and how do people make place? This includes the study of natural and built environments; local, regional, national and transnational communities; and international and inter-regional flows of people, goods, and ideas. 
    • AMST 204 What’s Race Got To Do With It?: Constructing Communities that Discard Lives
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 256 Walt Whitman's New York
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship
    • AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture
    • ARTH 171 History of Photography
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ARTH 265 Planning Utopia: Ideal Cities in Theory and Practice (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream
    • CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Race: Whiteness and the Whale
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 247 The American West
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature
    • ENGL 332 Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 203 American Indian Education (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 220 From Blackface to Blaxploitation: Black History and/in Film (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History
    • HIST 301 Indigenous Histories at Carleton
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 307 Advanced Wilderness Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
    • MUSC 115 Listening to the Movies
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 357 Politics and Ambition* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions
    • RELG 239 Religion & American Landscape
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience
  • Production and Consumption of Culture: How do people represent their experiences and ideas as culture? How is culture transmitted, appropriated and consumed? Students will examine the role of artists and the expressive arts, including literature, visual arts and performance as well as that of consumers and producers. 
    • AMST 204 What’s Race Got To Do With It?: Constructing Communities that Discard Lives
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 254 The 1930s: Social and Cultural Impact of the Great Depression
    • AMST 256 Walt Whitman's New York
    • AMST 269 Woodstock Nation
    • ARTH 171 History of Photography
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ARTH 265 Planning Utopia: Ideal Cities in Theory and Practice (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy
    • CAMS 187 Cult Television and Fan Cultures
    • CAMS 215 American Television History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • CAMS 216 American Cinema of the 1970s (not offered in 2020-21)
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream
    • CAMS 258 Feminist and Queer Media (not offered in 2020-21)
    • CAMS 340 Television Studies Seminar
    • CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2020-21)
    • DANC 266 Reading The Dancing Body
    • ECON 262 The Economics of Sports (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 136 Black Speculative Fiction (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Race: Whiteness and the Whale
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 230 Studies in African American Literature: From the 1950s to the Present
    • ENGL 233 Writing and Social Justice (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 241 Latinx Voices in the Age of Trump
    • ENGL 247 The American West
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 258 Playwrights of Color: Taking the Stage
    • ENGL 332 Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • ENGL 366 The Carleton Miscellany (not offered in 2020-21)
    • GWSS 398 Capstone: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 127 The Roaring Twenties & the Rough Thirties in U.S. History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 211 Revolts and Resistance in Early America
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 225 James Baldwin and Black Lives Matter (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 307 Advanced Wilderness Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
    • HIST 320 The Progressive Era?
    • MUSC 115 Listening to the Movies
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz
    • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 136 History of Rock (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 232 Golden Age of R & B
    • MUSC 246 Music in Racism and Antiracism
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 332 Motown (not offered in 2020-21)
    • MUSC 341 Rock Lab and Lab (not offered in 2020-21)
    • PHIL 228 Freedom and Alienation in Black American Philosophy
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2020 United States Election
    • POSC 216 Politics in the Post-Truth Society
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights*
    • POSC 357 Politics and Ambition* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 232 Queer Religions
    • RELG 249 Religion and American Public Life (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 344 Lived Religion in America
    • SOAN 206 Critical Perspectives on Work in the Twenty-first Century
    • THEA 227 Theatre for Social Change
    • WGST 389 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture (not offered in 2020-21)
  • America in the World (Migration, Borderlands, and Empire) How is the society and culture of the United States shaped by the historical and contemporary flows of people, goods and ideas from around the world? In turn, students will also focus on the various ways in which both colonial America and the United States have shaped the world. 
    • AMST 218 Asian American Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 262 The Economics of Sports (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 330 Refugee and Immigrant Experiences in Faribault, MN
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Race: Whiteness and the Whale
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2020-21)
    • GWSS 398 Transnational Feminist Activism
    • HIST 211 Revolts and Resistance in Early America
    • HIST 213 Politics and Protest in the New Nation
    • LING 288 The Structure of Dakota
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 216 Politics in the Post-Truth Society
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I
    • POSC 280 COVID-19 and Globalization
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights*
    • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 249 Religion and American Public Life (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 289 Global Religions in Minnesota
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State
    • SOAN 170 Investigating (In)Equality: Comparative Welfare States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism (not offered in 2020-21)

 

 

American Studies Courses

AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies This overview of the "interdisciplinary discipline" of American Studies will focus on the ways American Studies engages with and departs from other scholarly fields of inquiry. We will study the stories of those who have been marginalized in the social, political, cultural, and economic life of the United States due to their class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship, and level of ability. We will explore contemporary American Studies concerns like racial and class formation, the production of space and place, the consumption and circulation of culture, and transnational histories. 6 credits; HI, IDS, WR2; Fall, Winter, Spring; Melinda Russell, Nancy J Cho
AMST 204 What’s Race Got To Do With It?: Constructing Communities that Discard Lives In this course students will engage race and other forms of identity (including class and disability) using both social scientific and humanistic approaches to examine how the process of building place in the U.S. has historically meant discarding lives, excluding communities, and maintaining caste. Subtopics include: Art's impact on gentrification, POC suburbanization, Disposable lives in America, Apartheid from architectural design, and Comparative memoir. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Spring; Richard A Keiser
AMST 218 Asian American Studies Are Asian Americans forever foreigners or honorary whites? This class provides an introduction to Asian American Studies and introduces you to the research on Asian Americans. We begin with a brief introduction of U.S. immigration history and theories about assimilation and racial stratification. Paying particular attention to how scholars ask questions and evaluate evidence, we will cover research on racial and ethnic identity, educational stratification, mass media images, interracial marriage, multiracials, transracial adoption, and the viability of an Asian American panethnic identity. The course will examine the similarities and differences among Asian Americans relative to other minority groups when applicable. Note: Students who have previously taken SOAN 100: Asians in the U.S. are not eligible to enroll in this course.  6 credits; SI, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America In this class we consider the construction of American beauty historically, examining the way whiteness intersects with beauty to produce a dominant model that marginalizes women of color. We study how communities of color follow, refuse, or revise these beauty ideals through literature. We explore events like the beauty pageant, material culture such as cosmetics, places like the beauty salon, and body work like cosmetic surgery to understand how beauty is produced and negotiated. 6 credits; HI, WR2, IDS; Fall; Adriana Estill
AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America Focusing on the early nineteenth century struggle to create an American nation and a national culture, we will look at the ways Americans adopted and adapted European ideas, particularly the aesthetic idea of the Sublime, in their attempt to come to terms with the conquest of the new land and its native inhabitants and with the nature of their national enterprise. Writers Irving, Cooper, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson and painters Cole, Bierstadt, Church, Kensett, and Lane will be included. Major themes will include attitudes towards landscape and settlement, a distinctively American character, the nature and utility of art, and ideas of American empire. 6 credits; LA, WR2; Not offered 2020-21
AMST 231 Contemporary Indigenous Activism Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island and the Pacific Islands are fighting to revitalize Indigenous languages, uphold tribal sovereignty, and combat violence against Indigenous women, among many other struggles. This course shines a light on contemporary Indigenous activism and investigates social justice through the lens of Indian Country, asking questions like: What tools are movements using to promote Indigenous resurgence? And what are the educational, gendered, environmental, linguistic, and religious struggles to which these movements respond? Students will acquire an understanding of contemporary Indigenous movements, the issues they address, and the responsibilities of non-Native people living on Indigenous lands.  6 credits; HI, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination The history of American culture has always been shaped by a dialectic between the local and the universal, the regional and the national. The particular geography and history of the Midwest (the prairie, the plains, the old Northwest, Native Americans and white adventurers, settlers and immigrants) have shaped its livelihoods, its identities, its meanings. Focusing on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this course will explore literature, art history, and the social and cultural history of the Midwest. 6 credits; HI, WR2; Not offered 2020-21
AMST 244 Approaches to Indigenous Studies Indigenous Studies is both a body of content knowledge and a research methodology. This course provides an overview of the history of exploitative research dynamics between universities and Indigenous peoples while exposing students to alternative methodologies that center Indigenous perspectives and research priorities. Students will discuss what it means to be an ethical research partner as they learn about decolonizing and Indigenous research strategies. This course brings together ideas from History, Anthropology, Law, Public Health, Education, Literature, Art, and Social Work to evaluate studies relating to Indigenous peoples for their methods, contributions, and ethics. 6 credits; HI, IDS; Winter; Meredith L McCoy
AMST 254 The 1930s: Social and Cultural Impact of the Great Depression Through cultural manifestations--literature, painting, movies, radio, historic preservation, and music--we will trace progress from shock and despair to hope in the ‘30s and see how Americans of all races and classes coped with the disruptions and opportunities of economic cataclysm, political shifts, new social programs and expectations, and technology. Materials will include texts on the New Deal, labor, the Great Migration and race relations; fiction, essays, and plays by Steinbeck, Nathaniel West, James Agee, Thornton Wilder, Meridel LeSueur, Hurston, and Wright; popular movies and music; and photography, painting, Art Deco, and the 1939 World’s Fair. 6 credits; HI, WR2, IDS; Spring; Elizabeth McKinsey
AMST 256 Walt Whitman's New York An interdisciplinary investigation of the burgeoning, brash, alluring Other that the young Walter Whitman found in New York in the 1850s. Considering "Leaves of Grass," as well as his journalistic, "self-help," and political writings, we will reconstruct how Whitman found his muse, his voice, and his distinctively modern and democratic subject in the geography, demographics, markets, politics, and erotics of New York: "O City / Behold me! Incarnate me as I have incarnated you! I have rejected nothing you have offered me!--whom you adopted, I have adopted; good or bad..." 6 credits; HI, WR2; Fall; Peter J Balaam
AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship This course peers through the picture window of suburban life in the United States. Our primary text will be film. To what extent do fictional accounts reflect the scholarly concerns and analytical conclusions of historians and social scientists? What themes are common in film and/or literature but get little attention from scholars? Students will be obligated to view films on their own if designated show times are inconvenient. Some films may be R-rated. Prerequisite: American Studies 115 or sophomore standing. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Spring; Richard A Keiser
AMST 269 Woodstock Nation "If you remember the Sixties, you weren't there."  We will test the truth of that popular adage by exploring the American youth counterculture of the 1960s, particularly the turbulent period of the late sixties. Using examples from literature, music, and film, we will examine the hope and idealism, the violence, confusion, wacky creativity, and social mores of this seminal decade in American culture. Topics explored will include the Beat Generation, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, LSD, and the rise of environmentalism, feminism, and Black Power.  6 credits; LA, WR2, IDS; Spring; Michael J Kowalewski
AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture An in-depth exploration of the dynamic relationship between the arts and popular conceptions of California: whether as bountiful utopia, suburban paradise or multicultural frontier. We will meet with California artists and art historians, and visit museums and galleries. Art and artists studied will range from Native American art, the Arts and Crafts movement and California Impressionism to the photography of Ansel Adams, urban murals and the imagery of commercial culture (such as promotional brochures and orange-crate labels). Prerequisite: Participation in AMST OCS program. 6 credits; LA; Winter
AMST 289 California Program: California Field Studies Students will participate in a number of fieldtrips dealing with California's history, literature, and environment. Sites visited will include Sutter's Fort, Pt. Reyes, the Modoc Lava Beds, El Teatro Campesino, Hearst Castle, Silicon Valley, Joshua Tree, Watts Towers, the Rose Bowl and Yosemite National Park. Students will also complete an Oral Culture Project. Prerequisite: Participation in AMST OCS program. 4 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Winter
AMST 290 California Program: Directed Reading Students will do some preparatory reading on California history, literature and art before the seminar begins and additional reading connected with field trips and guest speakers. 2 credits; NE; Winter
AMST 345 Theory and Practice of American Studies Introduction to some of the animating debates within American Studies from the 1930s to the present. We will study select themes, theories, and methodologies in the writings of a number of scholars and try to understand 1) the often highly contested nature of debates about how best to study American culture; and 2) how various theories and forms of analysis in American Studies have evolved and transformed themselves over the last seventy years. Not designed to be a fine-grained institutional history of American Studies, but a vigorous exploration of some of the central questions of interpretation in the field. Normally taken by majors in their junior year. Prerequisite: American Studies 115, 287 or instructor permission. 6 credits; NE, IDS; Winter; Meredith L McCoy
AMST 396 Commodifying and Policing: Globalization of the American Suburb and City How does the American export of suburban living, gated communities, and broken-windows policing reshape place, identity and the socio-economic hierarchy?  We will also investigate how the commodification of the arts and the neoliberalization of education contribute to gentrification and other forms of spatial cleansing and rebranding. Required for juniors in the American Studies major. Prerequisite: American Studies 115, 287 or instructor permission. 6 credits; WR2, IDS, SI; Not offered 2020-21
AMST 396 Producing Latinidad As Arlene Dávila points out in Latinos Inc, Latinidad—the term that names a set of presumably common attributes that connects Latinxs in the U.S.—emerges in part from communities but, importantly, is developed heavily by the media, advertising, and other political and social institutions, including academia. In this course we consider how ideas and imaginings of who Latinxs are and what Latinidad is develop within political spaces (the electorate, the census), in local places, and through various media, including television, advertising, and music. We will consider how individual writers and artists contribute to the conversation. Throughout, we will engage with social and cultural theories about racial formation, gender, and sexuality. Prerequisite: American Studies 115 or instructor consent. 6 credits; HI, WR2, IDS; Spring; Adriana Estill
AMST 398 Advanced Research in American Studies This seminar introduces advanced skills in American Studies research, focusing on the shaping and proposing of a major research project. Through a combination of class discussion, small group work and presentations, and one-on-one interactions with the professor, majors learn the process of imaging, creating, and preparing independent interdisciplinary projects as well as the interconnections of disparate scholarly and creative works.  Prerequisite: American Studies 345. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Fall; Adriana Estill
AMST 399 Senior Seminar in American Studies This seminar focuses on advanced skills in American Studies research, critical reading, writing, and presentation. Engagement with one scholarly talk, keyed to the current year's comps exam theme, will be part of the course. Through a combination of class discussion, small group work and presentations, and one-on-one interactions with the professor, majors learn the process of crafting and supporting independent interdisciplinary arguments, no matter which option for comps they are pursuing. Students also will learn effective strategies for peer review and oral presentation. Prerequisite: American Studies 345. 3 credits; NE; Winter; Adriana Estill
AMST 400 Integrative Exercise: Exam and Essay Exam: Students read selected works and view films in the field of American Studies and in a special topic area designated by the program. For integrative exercise examination students only. Essay: Seniors working on approved essays or projects in American Studies with the support of their advisers, will work independently to complete their theses, performances or projects to satisfy the college "comps" requirement. Students will be required to give a public presentation on their papers or projects during the spring term. Prerequisite: American Studies 396. 3 credits; S/NC; Winter