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American Studies | Courses

For current class offerings, times, and additional information, please visit: Office of the Registrar Schedule

 


All Course Descriptions

 
AMST-140: Washington, D.C.: Life Inside a Monument (3)

Explores the unique nature of Washington as an international city, national capital, black-American cultural center, and home for its varied residents. Discussions include tensions between federal presence and local democracy, tourism, political and cultural activities, migration and immigration, geography and the cityscape and neighborhood life. Usually offered every spring and summer.

 

AMST-196: Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic.

 

AMST-206: American Dreams/American Lives (3)

An interdisciplinary study of key themes in American self-definition including equality, opportunity, and the changing landscape, as articulated by theorists and as challenged by an increasingly diverse urban and technological nation. Explores changing American ideals and experiences, with emphasis on ordinary citizens as well as institutions. Usually offered every fall.

 

AMST-231: Tribal Traditions (3)

The cultural and spiritual traditions of tribal societies and their persistence despite Western expansion and enforced acculturation. Class activities highlight American Indian economics, political systems, and the place of language, oral literature, music, and ceremony in Indian societies. Similarities among indigenous societies of America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific are stressed. Usually offered every fall.

 

AMST-240: Poverty and Culture 4:2 (3)

Students explore and debate rival theories about the causes and consequences of poverty. Why poverty occurs, why certain people are poor, how poverty influences family and community life, and how the poor respond to their situation and sometimes try to change it. Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite for General Education credit: COMM-100 or ECON-100 or GOVT-110 or SOCY-150.

 

AMST-296: Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic.

 

AMST-321: American Decades (3)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Political and economic affairs, international relations, social change, literature, drama, music, and fine and popular arts in one decade of American life. Usually offered every spring.

 

AMST-334: Contemporary American Culture (3)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Interdisciplinary exploration, through politics, ethnography, literature, film, and art, of institutions and attitudes with decisive influence on the shape and quality of contemporary American culture. Rotating topics include work, violence, visions of the future, the culture business, women and men, women in the popular media, and language in the United States. Usually offered every fall.

 

AMST-341: Research on the City of Washington (1-6)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Student group research on special topics and projects in Washington.

 

AMST-390: Independent Reading Course in American Studies (1-6)

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and program director.

 

AMST-396: Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic.

 

AMST-400: Interpreting American Culture (4)

Seminar in American studies theory and methods. Classic, emerging, and controversial approaches to American culture through such mixed media as architecture and photography, original documents and literary criticism, folklife and foodways, television and music. Usually offered alternate springs.

 

AMST-410: Senior Thesis I (3)

Original interdisciplinary research as a capstone to the major. Students also meet in a seminar to compare experiences and discuss ways to translate American Studies theory and method into practical and professional concerns. Usually offered every fall. Prerequisite: AMST-400.

 

AMST-411: Senior Thesis II (3)

Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite: AMST-400.

 

AMST-490: Independent Study Project in American Studies (1-6)

Prerequisite: permission of instructor, and program director.

 

AMST-491: Internship in American Studies (1-6)

Practical experience in a local organization such as a government office, museum, arts agency, or social action group. How to translate American Studies theory and method into professional skills and opportunities. Interns also meet in a seminar to discuss and interpret these experiences. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and program director.

 

AMST-496: Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic.