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 five areas of concentration: national formations; the international United States; material cultures and built environments; politics and American communities; and visual, audio, literary, and performance cultures.
In a typical year, introductory courses such as the following are given:

  • AMST 011, War and Rebellion in Early America
  • AMST 012, Politics and Society in the United States after World War II
  • AMST 019, Commodities as U.S. History
  • 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 give any interested freshman 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 freshmen only; some upper-level seminars are open to freshmen with advanced placement in the relevant subjects with the permission of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).

For additional information, see the American Studies program Web site.