Fall 2015

  • AMST 115: Introduction to American Studies: Immigration and American Culture

    This course is an introduction to the field of American Studies--its pleasures, challenges, and central questions--through the lens of immigration and migration. Using interdisciplinary readings and assignments, we will explore the richness and complexity of American culture by placing immigration and migration at the center of our investigations. Throughout the term, our study of diverse topics (Borders and Boundaries, World War II, and Sound) will model different ways of making connections and analyzing relationships between immigration, identity, and culture in the United States. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2015 · N. Cho
  • 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. Prerequisites: American Studies 396 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2015 · E. McKinsey

Winter 2016

  • AMST 247: We've Never Not Been Here: Indigenous Peoples and Places

    "Everything you know about Indians is wrong." Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche author) This interdisciplinary course offers an introduction to important topics in the field of Native American Studies. We will examine history, literature, art, politics, and current events to explore the complex relationship between historical and contemporary issues that indigenous peoples face in the United States. We will pay particular attention to the creative ways that indigenous communities have remained vibrant in the face of ongoing colonial struggle. Topics include histories of Indian-settler relations, American Indian sovereignties, Indigenous ecological knowledge practices, American Indian philosophical and literary traditions, and American Indian activism. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2016 · A. Smith
  • 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. Prerequisites: African/African American Studies 113 or American Studies 115 or instructor permission 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2016 · A. Estill
  • AMST 400: Integrative Exercise - 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. Prerequisites: American Studies 396 3 credit; S/NC; offered Winter 2016

Spring 2016

  • AMST 115: Introduction to American Studies: Placing Identities

    This course will examine the different spaces that inform the production of U.S. identities. We will think about the ways the construction of neighborhoods (urban or suburban) affects our sense of place, ethnicity, and community; we'll consider the impact that border geographies, whether physical or cultural, have on national imaginings; we shall look at contemporary cultural expressions of small town vs. big city life and consider what they feature as particular and unique about Americanness. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2016 · A. Estill
  • 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 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2016 · E. McKinsey
  • 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. Prerequisites: American Studies 115 or sophomore standing 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2016 · R. Keiser
  • AMST 396: Place, Memory, and National Narrative in American Studies

    How does a place become part of our cultural memory and national heritage, even if we've never been there? In this course we will draw on the interdisciplinary strengths of American Studies to explore how certain places and histories come to be important to an American national imaginary. We will critically examine specific sites of national memory such as Plymouth Rock, Mt. Rushmore, and the Alamo and consider the processes through which narratives of nationalism are created from contested histories and places, paying particular attention to Native American perspectives. Prerequisites: American Studies major or instructor permission 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2016 · A. Smith