AMST 201 Fall 2012 Introduction to American Studies (D)

Also offered Spring 2013

To be an "American" means something more than U.S. citizenship. In this course, we focus on the problems and possibilities of American identity. Access to Americanness is shaped by factors such as class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and region--categories which themselves change in meaning over time. Given the geographical, racial, and cultural diversity of the United States, the ways in which Americans imagine nation inevitably vary over time, according to place, and among different individuals and groups. Rather than a survey of any one aspect or period of American history, literature, or popular culture, this course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, a field defined both by the range of texts we read (essays, novels, autobiographies, photographs, films, music, architecture, historical documents, legal texts), and by the questions we ask of them: How have different Americans imagined what it means to be an American? What ideas about national history, patriotism, and moral character shape their visions of Americanness? How do the educational system, mass media, government policies regarding citizenship and immigration shape American identities? How are boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in the nation drawn? What uses have been made of the claim to an American identity, and what is at stake in that claim? How have Americans imagined a national landscape, a national culture, and to what ends?
Class Format: discussion/seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on a midterm, 2 papers, 2 short response papers, & class participation (Rua's section: evaluation will be based on 4 short response papers (2 pp), 1 short assignments/presentation, 2 essay papers (5-7 pp) & class participation)
Additional Info:
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: sophomores and first-year students
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Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1702
AMST201-02(F) SEM Intro to American Studies (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Dorothy J. Wang
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Schapiro Hall 241 1702
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