Courses In American Studies

AMS 111. Introduction to American Studies. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of America's heritage and the distinguishing features of the American mind and character.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

AMS 220. American Popular Culture: Production and Consumption. This course will offer a critical investigation of the role of popular culture in American life. From Tin Pan Alley to hip-hop, from fast food to pro wrestling, popular culture shows an increasing influence on American economic, social, and political life, and has become central in helping to define American identity and even reality itself. We all participate in popular culture in some way, and this course will give students the chance to explore its meanings and importance in their lives and in American culture.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

AMS 223. American Thought and Culture. A survey of American intellectual history and cultural criticism ranging from Puritanism and Enlightenment Rationalism to multiculturalism, feminism, and post-modernism.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

AMS 225. Democracy in America. This course will explore both the historical origins and development of the cultural ideal of democracy in the United States. By focusing on the cultural ideal of democracy, it will seek to understand the impact and meaning of democracy in America beyond that of political institutions alone. It will include readings and discussions in history, literature, politics, and cultural anthropology.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

AMS 229. Culture and Conflict in Modern America. An examination of the social, political, economic and cultural upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s in the historical context.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. American Social Diversity. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PHL 229]

AMS 280. Gender and Sexual Minorities in America Culture. This course explores the lives of those individuals living with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer identity (LGBTQ) and the relationship these individuals have with those around them. Exploration of the historical and contemporary implications of living with an LGBTQ identity, how these identities develop, the struggle for civil rights and legal protections, and how various factors such as the AIDS crisis, the media, religion, and others impact LGBTQ persons will also be explored.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.

AMS 311. American Science and Technology. A study of American science and technology and their interrelations with economic, cultural, political and intellectual developments.  Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: Any laboratory science course. 3 credits.

AMS 328. Film and the American Identity. This team-taught, interdisciplinary course will critically examine how films reflect, construct, and question the dominant image and understanding of the American identity.  Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. 4 credits.

AMS 340. One Nation Under God?. This course will explore the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. It will include an examination of the role religion played in the founding vision of our nation's democracy, as well as the important separation between church and state that has been achieved over the course of our nation's history. With this historical backdrop in mind, special emphasis will then be given to the ascendancy of the religious right in recent electoral politics.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with REL 340]

AMS 362. Multiculturalism and the American Identity. This class offers you a chance to familiarize yourself with the variety of ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual groups and identities in the U.S. You will gain or enhance your intellectual framework for understanding and appreciating diversity. It also will prepare you to survive and thrive in our complex and challenging world. The course relies on history, literature, and cultural studies and will be challenging but also fun.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.