G410 Mason Hall
Supervised by the interdepartmental Committee for the Program in American Culture: Professor June Howard, Director.
May be elected as an area concentration program
Professors Kirkpatrick (History of Art)
Associate Professors June Howard (English), Steve Sumida (English), Aparicio (Latino/Latina Studies, Spanish), Karlsen (History)
Assistant Professors Richard Campbell (Communication), David Scobey (American Culture, History)
The Program in American Culture promotes an understanding of the American experience through a study of American literature and the arts, history, and culture. The Program uses a multidisciplinary approach which encourages students to analyze and synthesize features of American society. American life, values, myths, and experiences are viewed from the vantage point of women, ethnic minorities, and workers as well as creative writers, artists, historians, and political and social leaders. The resources of journalism, film, photography, and the arts as well as the statistical and organizational records of groups, governmental documents, books, journals, and letters are used in the study of American culture. The Program contributes to a deeper understanding of the pluralism which characterizes contemporary American culture and society.
The undergraduate curriculum provides a liberal arts education focusing on the historical and cultural expression of the American experience. It suits students looking for an individual approach to their education.
Prerequisites to Concentration. History 160-161 for all tracks. American Culture 210 or 211 is also required for the Latina/Latino Studies track.
Concentration Program. The Program in American Culture has developed six subject-oriented tracks in addition to its "self-designed track." They are: arts and popular culture; British and American studies; intellectual history and literature; Latina/Latino studies; minority studies; and politics and social history. These tracks represent different ways of studying American culture, but they do not cover all the approaches our students use, nor are they meant to be exhaustive of the subject of American culture. Therefore, we continue to encourage some of our students to develop their own concentrations through the "self-designed track." This track is a development of the concentration as it has existed during the past few years.
Students entering the "self-designed track" not only fill out a concentration plan form with the help of the concentration advisor, but submit a 150-word statement of intent, outlining a coherent plan of study in American culture, plus a tentative list of proposed courses. This statement is normally submitted in the fall of the student's junior year. The program director will go over all submitted forms with the concentration advisor once each term. Students electing this track are required to take History 160-161, AC 201, AC 203, AC 350 or 398, an advanced course in ethnic and/or minority studies or women's studies, two cognate courses, a senior seminar (AC 492, 495, 496, 497, 498, or 499) and AC 489 (Senior Essay). Their concentration should include at least three advanced electives in American issues or themes, to be approved by the concentration advisor. The cognate requirement in this track includes two courses at the 300-level or above in a culture or cultures outside the U.S. In the interest of balance, students are strongly urged to take at least one course in a traditional area of American studies, such as American literature or intellectual history.
All students in the "self-designed track" normally write a senior essay in the winter term of their senior year, under the supervision of a faculty advisor. A new three-credit course, AC 489 (Senior Essay) has been established to administer this. AC 350 is a prerequisite for AC 489. Students who expect to graduate in December may take AC 489 in the fall term of their senior year. If permission of the advisor and the Director is obtained by the end of the second term of a student's junior year, a student may take AC 489 for six credits. With permission of the Director, the requirement of a senior essay can be waived in exceptional circumstances. A faculty member, assisted by the graduate student concentration advisor, will be in charge of AC 489. They will suggest advisors for the students, meet with them as a group as needed, and find an appropriate outside reader for each essay. AC 489 will be required for the self-designed concentration track, but it will also be an option in the other tracks. In all cases, it will count toward the required concentration hours. Students planning to take AC 489 will meet with the concentration advisor early in the first term of their senior year to ensure that the essay is planned and written on a regular schedule. Essays will be due in the program office in late March.
All students in the subject-oriented tracks are required to take History 160-161, AC 201, AC 203, AC 350, an advanced course in ethnic and/or minority studies or women's studies, and a senior seminar (AC 492, 495, 496, 497, 498, or 499). Requirements beyond this vary for the different tracks. Students have the option of taking AC 489 (Senior Essay) in these tracks. One faculty advisor will advise concentrators in each track--each year there will be different advisors for the different tracks. By "faculty advisor" we mean the faculty member responsible for a track, not the "concentration advisor" who will continue to be a graduate student in the American Culture program. Only the faculty member responsible for a track may sign a concentration release form for a student in that track. Cognate requirements vary with each subject-oriented track.
Students will be urged but not necessarily required to take at least one advanced course apiece in History, Literature and the Arts, and Social Sciences. It is expected that all concentrators will study American culture from the perspective of at least two disciplines. Such a practice is likely to be especially appropriate in the "self-designed track." Advisors will discuss interdisciplinary approaches with students when appropriate.
Honors Concentration. Qualified students may enter an Honors concentration. Students who apply for the Honors program should submit a 150-word statement of intent to the Director, plus a tentative list of proposed courses. Students in the Honors program may, if they wish, satisfy requirements for the concentration in one of the subject-oriented tracks. They may also elect the self-designed track; such an independent concentration may be especially suitable for some Honors students. Students taking AC 493, Honors Reading and Thesis, will be expected to participate in the meetings of AC 489, Senior Essay. A seminar emphasizing methodology is offered for juniors each winter term (AC 398). Students in this seminar are required to present a thesis proposal and to select two thesis advisors. Honors students receive six credits during the senior year for researching and writing the Honors thesis. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact the Honors concentration advisor.
Latina/Latino Studies. (G-410C Mason Hall, 764-9934) A component of the Program in American Culture, Latina/Latino Studies is designed to give students an opportunity to understand the experiences, values, and traditions of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other peoples of Spanish, Indian, and African descent that comprise the Hispanic-American population of the United States. Hispanic-Americans, soon to become the largest minority group in the United States, have not only made contributions to American society with their work, values, and traditions, they have also participated in the making of American history. As such, no understanding of the United States can be complete without accounting for the roles these people played. Latina/Latinos--or Hispanic-Americans--share a commonality of culture, yet the reasons for their migration and their processes of incorporation in American society offer sharp contrasts. Seeking to understand the Latina/Latino experience can only lead to a deeper understanding of American society. Examples of courses in Latina/Latino Studies include Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans: Development and Migration; Latina/Latino Politics and Latina/Latino Community; Caribbean Literature: Nationhood, Identity, and Diaspora; Hispanic-Americans: Social Problems and Social Issues; La Latina: Hispanic-American Women; Chicano Literature; Environmental Politics and Latinos Response to Environmental Injustice; Contemporary Issues in Latino Health Care; Women in Prison: Gender and Crime Among Blacks and Latinas; Latino Popular Music in the U.S.; U.S. Latina and Latin American Women Writers;and Immigrants and Refugees in Contemporary American Society.
Latina/Latino Studies can be an optional focus for concentrators in American Culture, or it can be elected as a concentration program itself with five different options.
Concentration Program. An interdisciplinary degree, the Latina/Latino Studies concentration may be elected through five options: Anthropology, Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, and Sociology. Thus, a student electing to concentrate in Latina/Latino Studies also meets core requirements in one of these disciplines. Concentrators in Latina/Latino Studies must satisfy all the requirements for the concentration in the option they elect as well as the requirements in Latina/Latino Studies in order to double concentrate. Students base themselves in the methodology of a traditional discipline in the social sciences or humanities while studying in depth the Hispanic-American experience from various disciplinary angles.
Language Requirement. Competency in Spanish must be achieved equivalent to Spanish 362 or the intensive Spanish program at the Residential College (Core 324) by all concentrators in Latina/Latino Studies.
Prerequisites to the Concentration. American Culture 210 or 211 are prerequisites to the five concentration options in Latina/Latino Studies.
Anthropology Option. Two courses from among Anthropology 101, 315, 319, 414, and 417; Anthropology 362 or 364; one of Anthropology 387, 488, 489, or 491; twelve credits chosen from the remaining courses of those just mentioned, or from Anthropology 272, 415, 418, 420, 458, 472, and 658; and twelve credits chosen from American Culture 301, 304, 310, 311, 404, 410, 496, 498, 504, and other courses focused on Latina/Latino Studies as approved by the concentration advisor.
Comparative Literature Option. Twelve credits from among Comparative Literature 240, 241, 495, English 270, Spanish 381, 463 and American Culture 498; fifteen credits of approved courses in literature at the 300 level or above in English and Spanish (at least six credits in each); and twelve credits chosen from American Culture 301, 304, 310, 311, 404, 410, 496, 498, 504, and other courses focused on Latina/Latino Studies as approved by the concentration advisor.
History Option. Twenty-four credits in History 160, 161, 396 or 397, 476, 477, and 593; History 367 or Anthropology 417 or 488; Afroamerican and African Studies 423 or 444; and nine credits chosen from among American Culture 301, 304, 310, 311, 404, 410, 496, 498, 504, and other courses focused on Latina/Latino Studies as approved by the concentration advisor.
Political Science Option. Two courses from among Political Science 101, 111, 140, 160, and 185; Political Science 320 (or approved substitute) and 448; two courses from among Political Science 400, 405, 408, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 423, 424, and 449; History 367 or Anthropology 417 or 488; Afroamerican and African Studies 423 or 444; and nine credits chosen from among American Culture 301, 304, 310, 311, 404, 410, 496, 498, 504, and other courses focused on Latina/Latino Studies as approved by the concentration advisor.
Sociology Option. Four courses from among Sociology 100, 101, 102, 210, 303, and 310; two other approved courses in Sociology; and eighteen credits chosen from among American Culture 301, 304, 310, 311, 404, 410, 496, 498, 504, and other courses focused on Latina/Latino Studies as approved by the concentration advisor.
Advising and Counseling. Students are encouraged to work closely with faculty advisors to develop a concentration plan consistent with individual needs and Program requirements. Initial appointments are scheduled at 1213 Angell (764-0330).
Students with questions about the Program in American Culture are invited to visit 410 Mason Hall (763-1460).
Student Association. An association of graduate and undergraduate students is active. Information is available from the Program Office.
Half Term Information. Courses are offered normally in half terms for 2 credits.
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