American Studies

The American Studies program examines, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the development and expression of national cultures and subcultures, as well as borderland and diasporic cultures. By means of a combination of gateway lecture courses, core seminars, American Studies courses, and courses from relevant disciplines (literature, history, the arts, and the social or behavioral sciences), students in the American Studies program explore diverse aspects of the American experience locally, nationally, and globally. Each student chooses one of six areas of concentration: national formations; the international United States; material cultures and built environments; politics and American communities; visual, audio, literary, and performance cultures; and public humanities.

In a typical year, introductory courses such as the following are offered:

  • AMST 011, War and Rebellion in Early America
  • AMST 020, The Humanities from Plato to the Corporate University
  • AMST 033, American Literature in the World
  • AMST 133, Introduction to American Indian History
  • AMST 135, U.S. Lesbian and Gay History
  • AMST 160, The Rise and Fall of Atlantic Slavery
  • AMST 188, The Colonial Period of American History
  • AMST 193, Origins of U.S. Global Power

Courses such as these should provide any interested first-year students the best possible acquaintance with the materials and methods of American Studies. American Studies seminars numbered under 100 are part of the Freshman Seminar program and are for first-year students only; some upper-level seminars are open to first-years with advanced placement in the relevant subjects with the permission of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).

For additional information, see the American Studies Website.