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.

For students in the class of 2019:

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 (a prerequisite for AMST 345 and AMST 396)
  • AMST 345 Theory and Practice of American Studies
  • AMST 396 Junior Research Seminar
  • 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. Students hoping to write an essay are advised to take a methods course in one of the social science departments.
    • 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 120 Rethinking the American Experience: American History, 1607-1865
  • HIST 121 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1865-1945 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 125 African American History I
  • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2018-19)

One-term survey courses:

  • AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies
  • ARTH 160 American Art to 1940
  • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
  • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
  • HIST 181 West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 126 America's Music
  • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2018-19)

III. Topical Courses: Each student must take four courses that deal with elements of the American experience that he or she has determined are central to a particular focus within the major. Courses that will fulfill this requirement are listed under three groups. No more than one of these courses may be 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.) No more than two Topical Courses may be from the same group. Students must take courses from at least two groups. In order that majors acquire the research skills necessary to complete the major, one of these four courses must be a 300-level course.

Group I

  • AMST 220 Producing Latinidad: Media and Cultural Expression
  • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2018-19)
  • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination
  • AMST 261 Unwritten America (not offered in 2018-19)
  • AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture
  • ARTH 160 American Art to 1940
  • ARTH 171 History of Photography (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
  • ARTH 245 Modern Architecture
  • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ARTH 333 Visual Culture and the Civil War (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CAMS 186 Film Genres
  • CAMS 188 Rock 'n' Roll in Cinema (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream (not offered in 2018-19)
  • DANC 266 Reading The Dancing Body: Topics in Dance History
  • ENGL 117 African American Literature
  • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
  • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
  • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts
  • ENGL 223 American Transcendentalism (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands
  • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 247 The American West
  • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color
  • ENGL 261 Telling Your American Story (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California
  • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature
  • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
  • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 310 Black Women Intellectuals (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 115 Music and Film (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 136 History of Rock (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 232 Golden Age of R & B
  • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
  • MUSC 332 Motown (not offered in 2018-19)
  • MUSC 337 Music in Social Movements (not offered in 2018-19)
  • THEA 242 Modern American Drama

Group II

  • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
  • AMST 228 Mean Girls: the Movie, the Phenomenon (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CAMS 216 American Cinema of the 1970s (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 286 Eat the Story (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 120 Rethinking the American Experience: American History, 1607-1865
  • HIST 121 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1865-1945 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 124 History of the City in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 125 African American History I
  • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 194 The Making of the "Pacific World" (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 205 American Environmental History
  • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 213 The Age of Hamilton (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 214 Rethinking the American Civil War (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls
  • HIST 219 Is Obama Black?: American Mixed Race History (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 224 Divercities: Exclusion and Inequality in Urban America (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 225 James Baldwin and Black Lives Matter
  • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
  • HIST 227 The American West (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History
  • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
  • HIST 316 History, Nature & Smartphones (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 324 The Concord Intellectuals (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 347 The Global Cold War
  • MUSC 215 Music Theater in America (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 130 Native American Religions
  • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 223 Religion, Madness, and Modern Psychology (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 238 The Sacred Body (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 240 Investing in God: American Religion and Economic Life (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 277 Buddhism and the Beats (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 289 Global Religions in Minnesota
  • RELG 344 Lived Religion in America
  • SOAN 283 Immigration and Immigrants in Europe and the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • WGST 220 LGBTQ Movements in the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)

Group III

  • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ECON 262 The Economics of Sports
  • ECON 264 Health Care Economics (not offered in 2018-19)
  • 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 2018-19)
  • ECON 274 Labor Economics (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ECON 275 Law and Economics
  • EDUC 225 Issues in Urban Education
  • EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform (not offered in 2018-19)
  • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
  • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2018-19)
  • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School
  • EDUC 353 Schooling and Opportunity in American Society
  • MUSC 126 America's Music
  • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 201 Lobbyists, Wonks and Social Media: Public Policy Making in Democracy
  • POSC 202 Parties, Interest Groups and Elections (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election
  • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 208 Presidential Elections, Gridlock and Policy Strategy (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
  • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States
  • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 224 Measuring and Evaluating Social and Ecological Systems (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 225 Global-Local Commons: Sustainability, Diversity & Self-Gov't in Complex Social-Ecological Systems (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S.
  • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
  • POSC 318 Advanced Topics Urban Policy*
  • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 352 Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville*
  • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2018-19)
  • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
  • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 115 Inequality in American Society (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 150 Who Cares and Who Gets Care? Women and Health (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State
  • SOAN 202 Girls Gone Bad: Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 218 Asians in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 221 Law and Society (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 223 Sport and Society (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 225 Social Movements (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 259 Comparative Issues in Native North America
  • SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 302 Anthropology and Indigenous Rights (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology
  • WGST 205 The Politics of Women's Health (not offered in 2018-19)

 

For students in the class of 2020 and forward:

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 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 120 Rethinking the American Experience: American History, 1607-1865
  • HIST 121 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1865-1945 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
  • HIST 125 African American History I
  • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2018-19)
  • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2018-19)

One-term survey courses:

  • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2018-19)
  • 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 2018-19)
  • RELG 289 Global Religions in Minnesota

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
    • AMST 218 Asian American Studies
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction
    • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • HIST 125 African American History I
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 220 North of Jim Crow, Far From Freedom
    • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2018-19)
    • LING 288 The Structure of Dakota (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 136 History of Rock (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 202 Parties, Interest Groups and Elections (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States
    • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S.
    • POSC 275 Black Radical Political Thought, 1919-1969
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
    • POSC 307 Go Our Own Way: Autonomy in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement*
    • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2018-19)
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 202 Girls Gone Bad: Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience
    • SOAN 325 Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction
    • SPAN 206 Civic Engagement, Social Change, and the Participatory Video (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • 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 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2018-19)
    • EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform (not offered in 2018-19)
    • EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 213 The Age of Hamilton (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 220 North of Jim Crow, Far From Freedom
    • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
    • MUSC 337 Music in Social Movements (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 202 Parties, Interest Groups and Elections (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 208 Presidential Elections, Gridlock and Policy Strategy (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 210 Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States
    • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 266 Urban Political Economy (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S.
    • POSC 275 Black Radical Political Thought, 1919-1969
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
    • POSC 307 Go Our Own Way: Autonomy in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement*
    • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 357 Politics and Ambition*
    • RELG 240 Investing in God: American Religion and Economic Life (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 202 Girls Gone Bad: Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism
    • SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology
    • SPAN 206 Civic Engagement, Social Change, and the Participatory Video (not offered in 2018-19)
    • WGST 220 LGBTQ Movements in the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • 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 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2018-19)
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2018-19)
    • AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture
    • ARTH 171 History of Photography (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2018-19)
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 247 The American West
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature
    • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls
    • HIST 220 North of Jim Crow, Far From Freedom
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 115 Music and Film (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S.
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions
    • SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2018-19)
    • 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 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2018-19)
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2018-19)
    • AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture
    • ARTH 171 History of Photography (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy
    • CAMS 216 American Cinema of the 1970s (not offered in 2018-19)
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream (not offered in 2018-19)
    • DANC 266 Reading The Dancing Body: Topics in Dance History
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 247 The American West
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature
    • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 125 African American History I
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls
    • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
    • MUSC 115 Music and Film (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 136 History of Rock (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
    • MUSC 332 Motown (not offered in 2018-19)
    • MUSC 341 Rock Lab and Lab (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2018-19)
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2018-19)
    • RELG 232 Queer Religion (not offered in 2018-19)
    • RELG 344 Lived Religion in America
    • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • 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
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ECON 262 The Economics of Sports
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2018-19)
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 213 The Age of Hamilton (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon (not offered in 2018-19)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 225 Global-Local Commons: Sustainability, Diversity & Self-Gov't in Complex Social-Ecological Systems (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy (not offered in 2018-19)
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2018-19)
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2018-19)
    • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State
    • SOAN 170 Investigating (In)Equality: Comparative Welfare States (not offered in 2018-19)
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience
    • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)

 

 

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; Adriana Estill
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 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; Winter; Liz Raleigh
AMST 220 Producing Latinidad: Media and Cultural Expression 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. This course studies the production of Latinidad across 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 race, gender, sexuality, and community.  6 credits; HI, WR2, IDS; Winter; Adriana Estill
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; Spring; Adriana Estill
AMST 228 Mean Girls: the Movie, the Phenomenon This course uses the movie Mean Girls (2004) as a hub to analyze and consider the cultural, linguistic, and representational impact of teen movies. We will work to understand why and how Mean Girls operates as a 'cult' film: what social conditions is it engaging and what historical trends does it name? We will consider the nature of teen movies in general and how race and gender and class are constructed through the text. We will assess the role of social media in generating gifs, quotes, and images that perpetuate a cultural discourse around Mean Girls. Not offered 2018-19
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 2018-19
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; Spring; Elizabeth McKinsey
AMST 261 Unwritten America This course is an examination of the hidden/excluded/silenced narratives in American literature and culture. We will read books, watch films, and draw from community resources in our exploration of groups that have been marginalized from the mainstream. The course will center around the stories of communities such as the Hmong, the Karen, and the Eritreans, among others. Be prepared to engage in conversations about power, privilege, and the underlying structures that govern exposure and understanding. 6 credits; LA, IDS; Not offered 2018-19
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; IDS; Not offered 2018-19
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 lithographs, tourist brochures, and orange-crate labels). 6 credits; LA; Winter; Cathy Kowalewski, Michael J Kowalewski
AMST 289 California Program: California Field Studies Students will participate in a number of field trips dealing with California's history, literature, and environment. Sites visited will include Sutter's Fort, the Modoc Lava Beds, the California Indian Museum, Teatro Campesino, and Hearst Castle. Students will also complete an Oral Culture Project. 4 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Winter; Michael J Kowalewski
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; Michael J Kowalewski
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; Spring; Serena R Zabin
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 permisson. 6 credits; WR2, IDS, SI; Winter; Richard A Keiser
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 396. 6 credits; NE; Fall; Elizabeth McKinsey
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