American Civilization (not available to Class of 2013 and beyond)
Students who concentrate in American civilization pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the social, cultural and political experiences and identities of the diverse groups
who constitute and have constituted the society of the United States. In consultation with the concentration advisor, American civilization concentrators design individualized concentration plans and have the
opportunity to take courses both in the department and throughout the University for concentration credit.
Students must take ten upper-level courses to fulfill the requirements for a concentration in American civilization. The rules governing the choice of these courses are as follows:
Completion of four (three, if opting for four focus courses) of the numerous 1000-level survey courses offered by the Department's faculty. These courses examine a wide
variety of topics and themes and are designed to provide concentrators with a broad foundation in the interdisciplinary study of U.S. society and culture.
Completion of three (four, if opting for three AMCV 1000-level courses) which together define a coherent area of specialization within the concentration by focusing on a
particular problem, topic, or area of American society and culture. These courses, which may be taken in any department in the university, should be upper-level and pertain to U.S. society and culture.
Other students have prepared successful focus areas in a wide range of fields, i.e. American popular culture, 1960-2004; education, race and class; health care policies; the sixties; women's history,
1850 to the present; nineteenth century material culture; religious practice during the twentieth century.
Completion of a proseminar/writing seminar preferably before the senior year. This requirement may be fulfilled in two ways: either by taking an AMCV 0190 or AMCV 0150
seminar prior to the junior year; or by taking an upper-level seminar in American Civilization in another department, in which reading and writing assignments focus on some aspect of U.S. society and culture.
Completion of the Junior Seminar, AMCV 1700. This course is designed to introduce new concentrators to some of the more important categories of analysis, methodologies, approaches and concerns of American Civilization.
Completion of an AMCV 1900-1909 seminar taken in the senior year. The aim of this final senior seminar is to apply the interdisciplinary skills learned in the field of American
Civilization to a semester-long, in-depth study of a particular topic.
The Honors program in the Department of American Civilization is designed for students who want to write a senior paper in order to explore a topic in depth; engage in original research; work closely with a particluar faculty member;
and receive their AB with Honors in American Civilization. The Department sees the senior thesis as a capstone experience which allows students to use many of the skills and concepts they've learned at Brown in conceiving and carrying out a substanial research project. The Department recommends that prospective thesis writers contract with a faculty member to do a directed reading during the second semester of the junior year in order to define a topic and research question and complete a thesis prospectus. In each semester of the Senior year, students register for a thesis writing course (AMCV 1970) under the supervision of their advisor and prepare a sixty to one hundred page thesis which they submit to the department in April.
Concentrators considering writing an honors thesis should consult with the Concentration Honors Advisor early in the second semester of their junior year. Admission to Honors candidacy requires:
- An academic record providing evidence of the student's ability to do Honors work.
- Two Faculty Recommendation Forms, attesting to the student's ability to do Honors work. These forms should be given to two faculty members with whom the student has taken a class in which a major paper was required.
- A completed Honors Application Form which must be signed by both the prospective honors candidate and a Brown Faculty member who has agrees to be his/her Thesis Advisor.
- A five page Thesis Prospectus plus primary and secondary bibliographies.
Page last reviewed in October, 2010.
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