Catalogue 2021 - 2022

American Studies Major

General Information

American Studies majors take a broad, inter-disciplinary approach to the meaning and nature of culture in the United States including the context of European colonialism – an inquiry that explores the idea of America as a contested site of meaning. Literature is the core of the program, but majors position their literary study in a comparative analysis of visual media and history to supplement their understanding of the relationship between cultural expressions and their context in social, political, and economic change.  

Career Opportunities

Combining a specialization in American culture with emphasis on critical reading, writing and thinking throughout the course of study, American Studies majors have many opportunities for graduate study and employment. They graduate prepared for the fields of law and politics, technical writing, editing, journalism and teaching. Students competing for positions specifically focused on American literature or culture will be able to present themselves as specialists in that field. The cultural and historical context of the American Studies program serves majors in business fields reliant on the interpretation of cultural trends and meaning such as marketing and media research, publishing and public relations.

English Faculty

Program Objectives

  • To offer a broad, inter-disciplinary approach to the culture of the United States.
  • To provide in-depth exposure to the forms and development of American, including African American, literature situated in the broad Anglophone tradition and history of colonization.
  • To analyze film and visual media as a part of the larger American cultural discourse and sharpen students’ awareness of the techniques and traditions particular to visual media.   
  • To supplement students’ understanding of literary and visual media with historical context.
  • To develop students’ ability to read, analyze and interpret a variety of cultural texts.
  • To develop students’ ability to produce clear, nuanced and rhetorically sophisticated academic writing.

 

General University and College Requirements

See General University Requirements and College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.

Degree Requirements

Each of the following courses in American Literature and Literary Studies:

ENGL 223African American Literature I

3 cr.

ENGL 224African American Literature II

3 cr.

ENGL 251American Literature I

3 cr.

ENGL 252American Literature II

3 cr.

ENGL 302Approaches to the Study of Literature

3 cr.

ENGL 3xx Topics in American Studies (ENGL 322 or ENGL 357)

3 cr.

ENGL 2xx/3xx Studies in Transatlantic Culture - ENGL 231, 232, 327, 328 or 341

3 cr.

ENGL 336Ethnic American Literature

3 cr.

ENGL 338/411Major Authors

3 cr.

or

ENGL 345Major African American Writers

3 cr.

ENGL 410English Seminar

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:30

Any two of the following courses in Film and Media Studies or Communication, one of which must be FILM xxx:

FILM 201Studies in Mainstream Film Genres

3 cr.

FILM 210Mass Media in Film

3 cr.

FILM 370Women and Film

3 cr.

FILM 290Special Topics in Film

1-3 cr.

FILM 340Director's Signature

3 cr.

FILM 390 - 393Special Topics in Film

1-3 cr.

COMM 324Media Industries, Government, and Society

3 cr.

COMM 326Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in the Media

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:6

Any two of the following courses from the Department of History:

HIST 25x Courses in American History

3 cr.

HIST 35x Courses in American History

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:6

Total Credit Hours: 42