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 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 2019-20)
  • HIST 121 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1865-1945 (not offered in 2019-20)
  • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877
  • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
  • HIST 125 African American History I (not offered in 2019-20)
  • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2019-20)
  • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2019-20)
  • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II

One-term survey courses:

  • ARTH 160 American Art to 1940 (not offered in 2019-20)
  • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2019-20)
  • ENGL 117 African American Literature
  • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
  • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
  • MUSC 126 America's Music
  • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture

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 (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 220 Producing Latinidad: Media and Cultural Expression (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 231 Contemporary Indigenous Activism
    • AMST 244 Approaches to Indigenous Studies
    • AMST 325 Oscars So White: Thinking about Race and Hollywood (not offered in 2019-20)
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 233 Writing Empathy/Writing Black Life (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • HIST 116 Intro to Indigenous Histories, 1887-present
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
    • HIST 125 African American History I (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 203 American Indian Education, 1600s-present
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution
    • HIST 220 North of Jim Crow, South of Freedom (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 221 Nat Turner, Booker T. Washington, and Fannie Lou Hamer in History and Memory
    • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 225 James Baldwin and Black Lives Matter
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2019-20)
    • LING 288 The Structure of Dakota
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago
    • MUSC 136 History of Rock
    • MUSC 232 Golden Age of R & B (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 202 Parties, Interest Groups and Elections (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II
    • 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* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
    • RELG 100 American Pilgrimages
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 325 Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SPAN 206 Civic Engagement, Social Change, and the Participatory Video (not offered in 2019-20)
    • WGST 389 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture
  • 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
    • AMST 254 The 1930s: Social and Cultural Impact of the Great Depression
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy (not offered in 2019-20)
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics
    • 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 2019-20)
    • EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform (not offered in 2019-20)
    • EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels
    • HIST 116 Intro to Indigenous Histories, 1887-present
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution
    • HIST 213 The Age of Hamilton (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 220 North of Jim Crow, South of Freedom (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness
    • HIST 320 The Progressive Era?
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
    • MUSC 337 Music in Social Movements
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 202 Parties, Interest Groups and Elections (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 208 Presidential Elections, Gridlock and Policy Strategy (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 209 Money and Politics
    • POSC 210 Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 213 Psychology of Mass Political Behavior
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 219 Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy
    • POSC 266 Urban Political Economy (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II
    • 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* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 315 Polarization, Parties, and Power*
    • POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 357 Politics and Ambition* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture
    • RELG 240 Investing in God: American Religion and Economic Life (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States
    • SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology
    • SPAN 206 Civic Engagement, Social Change, and the Participatory Video (not offered in 2019-20)
  • 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
    • AMST 231 Contemporary Indigenous Activism
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 171 History of Photography (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945 (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 245 Modern Architecture (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950
    • ARTH 265 Planning Utopia: Ideal Cities in Theory and Practice
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2019-20)
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing
    • ENGL 247 The American West (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
    • HIST 203 American Indian Education, 1600s-present
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 220 North of Jim Crow, South of Freedom (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness
    • MUSC 115 Listening to the Movies
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S.
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
    • RELG 100 American Pilgrimages
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience (not offered in 2019-20)
  • 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 220 Producing Latinidad: Media and Cultural Expression (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 254 The 1930s: Social and Cultural Impact of the Great Depression
    • AMST 267 Utopia, Dystopia, and Myopia: Suburbia in Fiction and Scholarship (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 287 California Program: California Art and Visual Culture (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 325 Oscars So White: Thinking about Race and Hollywood (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 171 History of Photography (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945 (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 245 Modern Architecture (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 247 Architecture Since 1950
    • ARTH 265 Planning Utopia: Ideal Cities in Theory and Practice
    • ARTH 341 Art and Democracy (not offered in 2019-20)
    • CAMS 186 Film Genres (not offered in 2019-20)
    • CAMS 215 American Television History
    • CAMS 216 American Cinema of the 1970s (not offered in 2019-20)
    • CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream (not offered in 2019-20)
    • DANC 266 Reading The Dancing Body: Topics in Dance History (not offered in 2019-20)
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 136 Black Speculative Fiction
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 233 Writing Empathy/Writing Black Life (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels
    • ENGL 247 The American West (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California
    • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 345 Queer Literature
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • ENGL 366 The Carleton Miscellany
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
    • HIST 125 African American History I (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution
    • HIST 216 History Beyond the Walls (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 222 Slavery in Film, Literature, and History (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 225 James Baldwin and Black Lives Matter
    • HIST 226 U.S. Consumer Culture
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness
    • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 320 The Progressive Era?
    • MUSC 115 Listening to the Movies
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • MUSC 130 The History of Jazz (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago
    • MUSC 136 History of Rock
    • MUSC 232 Golden Age of R & B (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MUSC 247 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival
    • MUSC 332 Motown (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MUSC 341 Rock Lab and Lab
    • POSC 204 Media and Electoral Politics: 2018 United States Election (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture
    • RELG 232 Queer Religion (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 249 Religion and American Public Life
    • RELG 344 Lived Religion in America (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States
    • WGST 389 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture
  • 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 2019-20)
    • AMST 220 Producing Latinidad: Media and Cultural Expression (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 225 Beauty and Race in America
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination (not offered in 2019-20)
    • AMST 325 Oscars So White: Thinking about Race and Hollywood (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 240 Art Since 1945 (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 232 American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 262 The Economics of Sports (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2019-20)
    • EDUC 338 Multicultural Education
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 211 Puritans, Sex and Slavery (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 212 The Era of the American Revolution
    • HIST 213 The Age of Hamilton (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness
    • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MUSC 126 America's Music
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • POSC 180 Global Politics & Local Communities (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 207 Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 220 Politics and Political History in Film (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 225 Global-Local Commons: Sustainability, Diversity & Self-Gov't in Complex Social-Ecological Systems (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy
    • POSC 302 Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*
    • POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 130 Native American Religions (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture
    • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom
    • RELG 249 Religion and American Public Life
    • RELG 289 Global Religions in Minnesota
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 170 Investigating (In)Equality: Comparative Welfare States
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism
    • SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience (not offered in 2019-20)

 

 

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; Nancy J Cho, Melinda Russell
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; Not offered 2019-20
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; Not offered 2019-20
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 2019-20
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; Fall; Elizabeth McKinsey
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; Fall; Meredith L McCoy
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 2019-20
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 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 2019-20
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 2019-20
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; Not offered 2019-20
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; NE; Not offered 2019-20
AMST 325 Oscars So White: Thinking about Race and Hollywood This course examines how race has been managed and visualized in movies and television over time, with a particular emphasis on studying the corporate and sociopolitical dimensions: marketing, awards ceremonies, star texts. Histories of Hollywood will inform our exploration as will viewings of select films and television programs.  Prerequisite: American Studies 115. 6 credits; HI, IDS; Not offered 2019-20; Adriana Estill
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 2019-20
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; 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