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American Studies


Requirements for the Major

  1. Two semesters of the American History survey, HIST BC 1401 and 1402. Majors are urged to complete this requirement by the sophomore year. This requirement may be waived for those with scores of 4 (waives one semester) or 5 (waives two semesters) on the Advanced Placement exam. Those students should substitute two upper-level American history courses, one that covers pre-Civil War material, and the other that covers post-Civil War material.
  2. Two semesters of the American literature sequence:
    a. Either ENGL BC 3179 or 3180
    b. Either ENGL BC 3181 or 3183
  3. One course in any discipline that focuses on American culture before 1917.  (Examples include but are not limited to HIST BC 3424 “Approached by Sea: Early American Maritime Culture,” ENG BC 3140 “Explorations of Black Literature: 1760-1890,” and AHIS BC 3961y “Winslow Homer and American Realism”)
  4. Junior Colloquium: AMST BC 3401 “Cultural Approaches to the Past.”  This course offers an introduction to the theoretical approaches of American Studies, as well as methods and materials used in the interdisciplinary study of American cultures and society.  Offered only in the fall. Students studying abroad in the fall of their junior year will be expected to take the colloquium in the fall of their senior year.
  5. Two semesters of the American Studies senior thesis seminar:  AMST BC 3703 and AMST BC 3704.
  6. A four-course concentration organized around a theme and historical period (see below).

Your Concentration

  • Gender and Race
  • Race
  • Class
  • Media and popular culture
  • Disability
  • Political theory and culture
  • Labor, production, and consumption
  • Transnational America
  • Natural and built environment
  • Family and kinship
  • Immigration, migration and ethnicity
  • Spirituality and belief
  • Proposed topic submitted via petition to the Chair
Historical Period
  • Aboriginal and Columbian period
  • Colonial, Revolutionary and Early Republic
  • Antebellum America
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • 1900-1945
  • 1945-present
  • Proposed time period submitted via petition to the Chair
Sample concentration 1: Natural and Built Environment / 1900-1945
  1. ARCH V 3114 Making the Metropolis: Urban Design and Theories of the City since 1850
  2. URBS V 3810 Production, Consumption, and Control of Public Spaces
  3. ENGL BC 3184 House and Home in American Culture
  4. HIST W 3441 Making of the Modern American Landscape
Sample concentration 2: Race / Civil War and Reconstruction
  1. HIST BC 4411 Race in the Making of the US
  2. AFRS BC 3122 Ethnography of Black Americans in the United States
  3. HIST W 3432 The United States in the Era of Civil War and Reconstruction
  4. AMST BC 3300 Topics in American Studies