American Studies (AMST)

Director: Associate Professor Christopher Vials

Office: Philip E. Austin Building, Room 118

1002. Sing and Shout! The History of America in Song

(Also offered as MUSI 1002.) Three credits. Lecture with discussion groups.

Develop an understanding of American people, history and culture through the study and singing of American folk songs. CA 1. CA 4.

1201. Introduction to American Studies

(Also offered as ENGL 1201 and HIST 1503.) Three credits.

What is an American? A multi-disciplinary inquiry into the diversity of American societies and cultures. CA 4.

1700. Honors Core: American Landscapes

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open only to freshman and sophomore honors students.

Real and imagined landscapes in the Americas as seen through the history of the land and its uses and through changing representations of those landscapes in art, literature, science, and popular culture. CA 1.

2207. Empire and U.S. Culture

(Also offered as ENGL 2207 and HIST 2207.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

How the frontier and overseas ambitions have shaped U.S. institutions and culture. The impact of U.S. expansion on people outside its borders. These topics are explored through literary narratives and historical documents. CA 1. CA 4.

2274W. Disability in American Literature and Culture

(Also offered as ENGL 2274W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

An interdisciplinary examination of the symbolic roles of disability and the social implications of those roles. CA 1. CA 4.

2276. American Utopias and Dystopias

(Also offered as ENGL 2276.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

Interdisciplinary approaches to American utopian and dystopian literature of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. CA 1.

2276W. American Utopias and Dystopias

(Also offered as ENGL 2276W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011. CA 1.

2400. City and Community in Film

(Also offered as URBN 2400.) Three credits.

Aesthetics, history, and contemporary relevance of American films that feature the urban, suburban, and/or small town landscape as a major “character” shaping plot and story. Films read closely as texts that make meaning through a range of tools, including narrative, mise-en-scene, editing, camera work, and genre conventions.  CA 1.

3042. Baseball and Society: Politics, Economics, Race and Gender

(Also offered as AFRA 3042 and HDFS 3042 and WGSS 3042.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher.

Baseball in historical, political, sociological, and economic contexts. Topics may include: impact on individuals and families; racial discrimination and integration; labor relations; urbanization; roles of women; treatment of gay athletes; and implications of performance-enhancing drugs.

3082. Critical Race Theory as Political Theory

(Also offered as POLS 3082.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Recommended preparation: POLS 1002.

Interdisciplinary scholarship on racial identity, legal decisions, and political action from the perspective of political science and political theory. Topics include interactions between states and social movements, the intersections of race, class, gender, and membership, and the problems with both post-racialism and identity politics.

3201. Introduction to Asian American Studies

(Also offered as AASI 3201.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher.

A multidisciplinary introduction to major themes in Asian American Studies. Concepts of identity and community, migration and labor histories, Asians and the law, representations of Asians in visual and popular culture, gender issues, interracial and interethnic relations, and human rights. CA 1. CA 4.

3265W. Seminar in American Studies

(Also offered as ENGL 3265W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher. With a change of content, may be repeated for credit.

An in-depth study of an event, historical period, or cultural production from an interdisciplinary perspective.

3271. Immigration and Transborder Politics

(Also offered as LLAS 3271 and POLS 3834.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher.

U.S. immigration policy, trans-border politics, and the impact diasporas and ethnic lobbies have on U.S. foreign policy, with the emphasis on Latino diasporas.

3281. Internship

Credit and hours by arrangement, not to exceed six credits per semester. Open to juniors or higher; open only with consent of instructor. No more than eight credits may be earned in a single placement, and no more than three credits may be counted towards completion of requirements for the American Studies major. May be repeated for credit. Students taking this course will be assigned a grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).

3440. Nineteenth Century American Art

(Also offered as ARTH 3440.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to sophomores or higher.

An overview of major artists and stylistic movements in the United States in the long 19th century.

3440W. Nineteenth Century American Art

(Also offered as ARTH 3440W.) Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3502. Colonial America: Native Americans, Slaves, and Settlers, 1492-1760

(Also offered as HIST 3502.) Three credits.

The legacy of Columbus, creative survival of Native Americans in the face of disease and warfare, religious utopianism and the profit motive in colonization. The growth of a distinctive Anglo-American political culture, gender and family relations, and the entrenchment of a racial caste system.

3502W. Colonial America: Native Americans, Slaves, and Settlers, 1492-1760

(Also offered as HIST 3502W.) Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3542. New England Environmental History

(Also offered as HIST 3542.) Three credits. Recommended preparation: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

Interdisciplinary history of New England’s terrestrial and marine environmental change. Links among land, sea, and human natural resource use and management, including precontact patterns, colonial impacts, agricultural decline, industrial pollution, overfishing, re-forestation, and the rise of eco-tourism.

3568. Hip-Hop, Politics and Youth Culture in America

(Also offered as AFRA 3568 and HIST 3568.) Three credits.

History of hip-hop, its musical antecedents and its role in popular culture. Race, class, and gender are examined as well as hip-hop’s role in popular political discourse.

3570. History and Theory of Digital Art

(Also offered as ARTH 3570.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to sophomores or higher.

Examines the aesthetics and cultural impact of digital art in various modes including performance, online, and object production.

3699. Independent Study

Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher; open only with consent of instructor and approval of the director. May be repeated for credit with a change of topic. Supervised reading and writing on a subject of special interest to the student.

3807. Constitutional Rights and Liberties

(Also offered as HRTS 3807 and POLS 3807.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher.

The role of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Bill of Rights. Topics include freedoms of speech and religion, criminal due process, and equal protection.

3822. Law and Popular Culture

(Also offered as POLS 3822.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher.

Exploration of themes in the study of law and courts by contrasting scholarly work against representations of such themes in movies, television, and other media of popular culture.

3822W. Law and Popular Culture

(Also offered as POLS 3822W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

4897. Honors Thesis

Credits and hours by arrangement. Open to juniors or higher; open only with consent of instructor.

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