Requirements for the American Studies Concentration

Students wishing to fulfill requirements for the American Studies concentration must complete the following work:

Ten courses above the 1000-level.  American Studies courses will engage students in a range of different kinds of writing, from conventional research papers and analytical essays to writing for the public in the form of editorials, web sites, and exhibits.

Three courses in the concentration must be linked to an individual focus formulated by the student when the concentration is declared.

Four of the ten courses must be seminars:

  • The Senior Seminar is any AMST1900 taken in the senior year.
  • The other two may be AMST 1800, AMST 1900 or upper-level seminars outside the department that fulfill focus requirements.
  • The Senior Capstone ePortfolio is an ungraded requirement.

In consultation with the Concentration Advisor, each concentrator develops an individualized program of study of ten upper-level courses, at least three of which share a particular focus.  The required Junior Seminar focuses on some aspect of the "public" as a way of engaging with communities near and far advised by using these themes and aproaches that define our curriculum.  In the senior year, students may write an honors thesis, which can take a variety of forms, for example, an essay, a website, or a study that integrates quantitiative research.  Many American Studies courses are project-based and often involve a community engagement component.

A unique aspect of the concentration in American Studies is our interest in publicaly-engaged scholarship.  By "publicly-engaged scholarship" or the "public humanities," we mean a variety of theories and practices that bring the world of academic scholarship and research into more dynamic relations to the communities large and small in which we live and study.  This interest informs our decision to focus the required Junior Seminar of the concentration on the question of "the public," as well as to offer courses, support internships, and direct honors theses that create new forms and venues of knowledge of the vast variety of American experiences.

Requirements for class of 2012 and prior