Coordinator: John Enyeart

American Studies focuses on the power and the mythology connected with the symbol of "America." When people use the term "America" or "American," they are often talking about something much more than the people, institutions, geography, culture, or history of the United States. They are talking (positively or negatively) about a symbol that may represent divine intervention in human affairs, or colonialist, imperialist, commercial oppression of others.

American Studies is an examination of the construction of what citizens of the United States and of the world think or mean when they speak of "America" or "American." It takes as its focus an investigation of the meaning of "America" from the perspective of the peoples who consider themselves (or are considered by others to be) central, peripheral, or excluded by that term. Inclusive of but more than an area study, American Studies is by definition inter- and cross-disciplinary, and minors are required to take courses offered by a variety of departments.

The American Studies minor consists of five courses:

  • UNIV 229/GEOG 229 Introduction to American Studies (or an approved replacement).
  • Any four courses from the following list (or appropriate substitution approved by the program co-coordinator):

ANTH 256: Native Americans, Past and Present

ECON 319: Economic History of Women in the U.S.

EDUC 350: Higher Education in the U.S.

ENGL 205: Early American Colonial Literature
ENGL 206: Early American National Literature
ENGL 207: American Romanticism
ENGL 208: American Realism and Naturalism
ENGL 209: Modern American Literature
ENGL 212: Contemporary American Literature
ENGL 213: Special Topics in American Literature
ENGL 216: Studies in American Literary Genres
ENGL 219: Studies in Selected American Authors
ENGL 221: African-American Literature
ENGL 301: Seminar in American Literature Topics
ENGL 302: Seminar in Selected American Writers
ENGL 305: Seminar in Early American Literature
ENGL 307: Seminar in 19th-century American Literature
ENGL 310: Seminar in Modern American Literature
ENGL 311: Seminar in Contemporary American Literature
ENGL 321: Seminar in African-American Literature

ENST 207: American Environmental History

GEOG 229: Introduction to American Studies

HIST 111: Introduction to U.S. History I
HIST 112: Introduction to U.S. History II
HIST 113: Introduction to U.S. History III
HIST 121: Introduction to African-American History I
HIST 122: Introduction to African-American History II
HIST 211: Frontiers and Borderlands
HIST 214: Topics in American History
HIST 217: American Colonial History
HIST 218: African-Americans and the American Revolution
HIST 219: Antebellum America
HIST 220: American Civil War and Reconstruction
HIST 221: U.S. History: 1880s to 1930s
HIST 222: U.S. History: 1940s to the Present
HIST 223: Twentieth-century African-American History: Eyes on the Prize
HIST 225: Topics in American Political and Economic History
HIST 227: American Intellectual History I
HIST 228: American Intellectual History II
HIST 229: Topics in American Intellectual History
HIST 261: Twentieth-century Afro-Caribbean and African-American Thought
HIST 270: Science and Technology in the U.S.
HIST 271: Medicine in the United States
HIST 310: U.S. History to 1865
HIST 311: U.S. History since 1865
HIST 312: American Social History
HIST 313: The American West
HIST 319: African-American History
HIST 320: American Labor History
HIST 321: American Immigrants
HIST 322: American Industrialization and Political Development

POLS 140: American Politics
POLS 240: The American Congress
POLS 243: The American Presidency
POLS 244: American Judicial Politics
POLS 246: Race and American Politics
POLS 261: Twentieth-century American Legal Thought
POLS 263: Race and Ethnicity in American Legal Thought
POLS 271: American Foreign Policy
POLS 272: U.S. National Security Policy
POLS 287: U.S. and the Middle East
POLS 370: Seminar in American Politics

RELI 180: Introduction to Religion in America
RELI 280: Religion and Constitution Law
RELI 281: Religion and American Politics
RELI 315: Topics in American Religion

SOCI 140: American Culture and Society
SOCI 245: Remaking America: Latin American Immigration
SOCI 280: Twentieth-century Afro-Caribbean and African-American Thought
SOCI 447: Seminar in Social Mobility: Rags to Riches in America

THEA 261: Inner Journey: Sam Shepard and American Theatre

UNIV 229: Introduction to American Studies

Minors may not take more than two courses in any one department, and may take no more than two at the 100 level.

Any changes or substitutions must be approved by one of the program's coordinators.



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