This course introduces the interdisciplinary approaches to American studies. Students will consider the role that media, politics, history, family, and community play in shaping their understanding of their place in the nation. Students will consider how well that understanding matches with their friends or neighbors’ ideas. This class provides the skills, information, and techniques from a wide variety of perspectives and discipline to engage creatively with what it has meant to claim to be an “American.” We will draw from work in ethnic studies, history, literature, film/media studies, religion, music, art, digital technologies, women’s studies, folklore, sexuality studies, and ethnography. By the end of the semester, students will know how an American studies approach is both distinct from, and related to, other forms of inquiry. They will be able to speak authoritatively about the nation's ever increasing diversity and the U.S.'s role in a global context.
Short writing assignments, attendance and participation, two longer writing assignments
Freshman and Sophomores interested in the Humanities