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American Studies (AMS) Course Descriptions

Department of History, College of Liberal and Fine Arts


AMS 2043  Approaches to American Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Introduces students to a variety of approaches to the study of American culture. Course materials will focus on key concepts such as race and ethnicity, transnationalism and border studies, and gender and sexuality. Students will be encouraged to integrate community-based resources such as local museums, archives, and research centers into course-required projects. May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AMS 3013  Early American Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the influences that shaped American culture to the 20th century. Topics may include the impact of colonialism, the Enlightenment, the frontier, industrialism, ethnicity, race, religious reform, and other factors in the development of a distinctive society.

AMS 3023  Modern American Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines major trends in American culture during and after the industrial revolution, with special attention to the consequences of urbanization, suburbanization, industrialization, race relations, popular culture, technology, and secularization.

AMS 3123  Applications of American Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Applications of theories and methods of American Studies to particular areas of U.S. culture. Course addresses concepts of nationalism, citizenship, and nation building, inclusion and exclusion in American society, as well as how American cultural and group identities exist in relation to each other.

AMS 3243  Studies in Transnationalism
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Exploration of borders, boundaries, crossings, and exchange in American Studies, with special reference to questions of national identity, material culture, transnationalism, and the impacts of globalization. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AMS 3343  Studies in Race and Ethnicity
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The study of historical, social, cultural, and material influences on race and ethnicity. Course will use texts from literature, sociology, history, and other disciplines. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AMS 3443  Studies in Gender and Sexuality
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examination of topics such as masculine, feminine, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered definitions of gender and sexuality. Course will use texts from literature, sociology, history, and other disciplines. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AMS 4823  Topics in American Culture
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An in-depth study of a selected issue or topic in American Studies. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AMS 4913  Independent Study
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) of the instructor, the student’s AMS advisor, the Department Chair, and Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

AMS 4933,6  Internship in American Studies
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of AMS program coordinator.
Supervised experience relevant to American Studies within selected community organizations. A maximum of 6 semester credit hours may be earned through Internship in American Studies. Must be taken on a credit/no-credit basis. Only 3 semester credit hours can be applied to the major in American Studies.

AMS 4973  Advanced Seminar in American Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: AMS 2043, AMS 3123, and one of the following: AMS 3243, AMS 3343, AMS 3443, or consent of instructor.
An in-depth study of a central theme, problem, or topic in American Studies. Focuses on research methods and preparation of senior portfolio required for the major degree.

AMS 4993  Honors Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to candidates for Honors in American Studies during their last two semesters.
Supervised research and preparation of an honors thesis. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval.