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American Studies

Although the major has no prerequisites, it is highly recommended that you take either AMST 2001, or courses taught by our core faculty in other deparmtents. That way, you can gain first-hand experience on what it means to approach a topic from an interdisciplinary, American Studies viewpoint.

 

Requirements for the Major

Admission to the American Studies major is by application only. Applicants generally apply in the second semester of their second year. This is a competitive process that takes into account the student’s GPA, intellectual interests, and plans for study.

Once accepted, the American Studies major requires a minimum of 10 courses (30 credits). No less than 21 credits must be unique to the American Studies major. These classes may include courses taken before the declaration of the major. In order to count towards the major, students must receive a grade of C or better in each class and must maintain a GPA of 2.0 in the major. No more than two courses can overlap the American Studies Major and that of another Dept/Program. In each of the concentrations, students must take at least two courses at the 3000-level or above. There is no minor in American Studies.

Course Distribution

  1. AMST 2001 (Formations of American Cultural Studies)
  2. AMST 3001 (Theories and Methods of American Studies)
  3. AMST 4500 (Seminar in American Studies)
  4. Any additional AMST course
  5. The remaining six courses must come from one of the following areas of concentration: Southern Studies; Visual and Popular Culture; Race and Ethnicity; Native American Studies; and Student-designed.

Southern Studies. Students concentrating in Southern Studies must take at least 2 courses from the following list of core courses, from different departments:

  • ARTH 2753 Arts and Cultures of the Slave South
  • ENAM 3880 Literature of the South
  • HIUS 3231 Rise and Fall of the Slave South
  • HIUS 3232 South in the 20th Century
  • MUSI 2120 History of Jazz

Core courses taken beyond the required 2 courses will count towards the total courses required. The remaining four electives must come from a list of approved courses maintained by the program and available on the program website. Students should work closely with their advisor to organize their courses either around a chronological focus (e.g. 19th century, Civil War and Reconstruction, contemporary), a geographical focus (e. g. Carribbean, Southwest, Appalachia) or a formal focus (e. g. literature, popular culture, material culture).

Popular and Visual Culture. Students concentrating in Popular and Visual Culture must take at least 2 core courses. One must fulfill a Popular Culture requirement and one must fulfill and Visual Culture requirement. Each core course must be drawn from a different department.

Popular Culture:

  • ANTH 3155 Anthropology of Everyday American Life
  • MUSI 2070 Popular Musics
  • MUSI History of Jazz
  • MUSI 2110 Music in Everyday Life
  • HUIS 3161 Viewing America
  • PLAP 3140 Mass Media and American Politics
  • SOC 2470 American Society and Popular Culture

Visual Culture:

  • AMST 2220 Race, Identity and American Visual Culture
  • ARTH 2753 Arts and Cultures of the Slave South
  • ARTH 2751 American Art
  • ARTH 2752 American Art II
  • ARTH 2471 Art Since 1945
  • DRAM 2810 Cinema as an Art Form
  • DRAM 3070 African American theatre
  • MSDT 4104 History of US Broadcasting

Core courses taken beyond the required two will count towards the total courses required. The remaining four electives must come from a list of approved courses maintained by the program and available on the program website. Students should work closely with their advisor to organize their studies either around a chronological focus (e. g. early America, 19th century, contemporary), a popular culture focus (i.e. generally courses that are not about visual culture), or visual culture focus (i. e. courses generally focused on media and the arts).

Race and Ethnicity. Students concentrating in Race and Ethnicity must take at least 2 core courses. One must fulfill a comparative ethnicities requirement and one must focus on a single ethnic or racial formation:

Comparative Ethnicities:

  • AMST 2220 Race, Identity and American Visual Culture
  • ANTH 2250 Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism
  • SOC 3410 Race and Ethnic relations
  • PLAP 3700 Racial Politics.

Single Ethnic or Racial Formation:

  • AAS 1010 Intro to African American Studies
  • AAS 1020 Intro to African American Studies
  • AMST 2100 Asian American Cultural History
  • AMST 2300 Intro to Latino/a Studies

Core courses taken beyond the required two will count towards the total courses required. The remaining four electives must come from an approved list of courses maintained by the program and available on the program website. Students should work closely with their advisor to organize their studies around one of the following focuses: Asian Pacific American Studies; Latino/a Studies; African American Studies; Comparative ethnic and race studies.

Native American Studies. Students concentrating in Native American Studies must take the following 2 core courses:

  • ANTH 2153 North American Indians
  • AMST/HIUS 3641 Native America

The remaining four electives must come from a list of approved courses maintained by the program and available on the program website. Students should work closely with their advisor to organize their studies around a coherent focus.

Student-designed. Sometimes students come to American Studies with a particular interest not covered by the aforementioned concentrations, for example: gender and sexuality, transnationalism, or social justice. American Studies majors can design their own concentration working closely with the director of American Studies.

Distinguished Majors Program (DMP)

Current third-year students with at least a 3.4 GPA in the College of Arts and Sciences and a 3.6 GPA in the major are eligible to pursue Distinction. DMPs take a year-long independent study in their fourth with a faculty advisor, with the goal of producing a thesis generally 35-50 pages in length. DMPs also take an additional course, AMST 4999, the Distinguished Majors Thesis Seminar, in the spring of their fourth year. Students interested in participating in the Distinguished Majors Program in American Studies should meet with the Director of the American Studies major or the American Studies DMP Director in the second semester of the third year. For more information about the DMP program, please contact the American Studies Director.

Requirements for a Minor in United States Latina/o Studies

Students must take one of the following United States Latina/o Studies general survey courses, or another course approved by the director:

  • AMST 2300 Introduction to United States Latina/o Studies
  • AMST 2400 Globalization and Borders
  • REGL 2700 Festivals of the Americas
  • ANTH 3157 Caribbean Perspectives
  • ANTH 3154 Indians of the American Southwest

Students must take one of the following survey courses on comparative race and ethnicity theory/history in the fields of Asian American or African American studies, or another course approved by the direstor:

  • AMST 2220 Race, Identity and American Visual Culture
  • AMST 3180 Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • ANTH 2610 Asian American
  • ANTH 3650 Asian America: from Yellow Peril to Bhangra Blowout
  • ENMC 3650 Asian American Fiction
  • ENMC 3310 Major African-American Poets
  • AAS 3231 Rise and Fall of the Slave South
  • AAS 3240 Plantations in Africa and the Americas
  • HIST 3301 South Atlantic Migration

Declaring the Major

Applications for the American Studies major are normally accepted in the second semester of the second year. If you are interested in becoming an American Studies major, please attend the INFORMATION SESSION to take place on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. The session will be held in Nau Hall 134 at 5-6:30 pm. A small group of students may be admitted by application in the fall, and the deadline is September 2014.

Two copies of your transcript or VISTAA form and two copies of your completed application are due on the Wednesday, March 19, by 5pm to Grace Hale, Director of American Studies, Nau Hall, Rm 283. Please contact Barbara Moriarty with any questions.

PDF document icon Click here to download the application (.pdf, 73KB). Due Wednesday, March 19, 2014 by 5 PM