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American Studies

The American Studies Program at the University of Connecticut provides students with the opportunity to enhance their university experience by studying with faculty members and students from a wide variety of disciplines. Among the goals of the program is to promote an awareness of the complex cultural, political, and economic structures at the root of the social organizations that have existed throughout the history of the Western Hemisphere. Our studies range from the first immigrations across the landbridge from Siberia, to the colonization of the Americas by Europeans, to the nationalist movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, to the present day. Other areas of concentration may include the ways in which literary, musical, and visual artists often articulate contemporary cultural concerns, and the study of our changing understandings of new world geography and ecology. Students will be encouraged to fashion a course of study that will allow them to pursue their particular interests.

The Program requirements are described below:

(There are no additions to or variances from the general admission requirements of the university. Students who wish to major in American Studies must consult with the Director, must fill out a Plan of Study, and must be assigned an advisor.)


THE MAJOR IN AMERICAN STUDIES

The major in American Studies consists of 24 credits:

Prerequisite Introduction to American Studies (AMST 165/1201)
Four "Core" Courses - 12 Credits
Three courses from within a Track chosen by the student - 9 Credits
Seminar in American Studies - 3 Credits

Prerequisite: "Introduction to American Studies" (AMST 165/1201)

Core Courses: 12 Credits (One course from I, II, III, and IV below.)

I. One course from the following:
HIST 210/3561: History of Women and Gender in Early America
HIST 215/3562: History of Women and Gender in the United States, 1790-Present
HIST 238/3563: African American History to 1865
HIST 243/3502: Colonial America: Native Americans, Slaves, and Settlers, 1492-1760
HIST 244/3504: The American Revolution
HIST 246/3564: African American History Since 1865
HIST 249/3516: Rise of U.S. Global Power

II. ENGL 270/2201: American Literature to 1880
or
  ENGL 271/2203: American Literature Since 1880

III. POLS 241/2607: American Political Parties or
  POLS 251/3817: Law and Society or
  POLS 252/3802: Constitutional Law or
  POLS 275/3602: The Presidency and Congress or
  ECON 203/2102: Economic History of the United States

IV. One 200-level course that deals with Latin America, Canada, or the Caribbean.

Track Requirement: 9 Credits

Students must choose a "Track" from the four American Studies tracks. They must take three 200-level courses from within this track.

The American Studies Tracks are:

1. History, Culture, and Society

2. Literature and the Arts

3. Economics, Political Science, and the Law

4. The Americas

For the courses that fulfill the requirements of each track, please see the lists at the "Tracks and Courses" page.

Other courses, such as "Special Topics" courses, may be used to fulfill American Studies requirements with the approval of the Director of American Studies. (If possible, students should seek such permission before taking the course. ) All courses must be taken for three credits.

The Core Courses may not be used to fulfill the 9-credit track requirement. A second core course from the same group, however, may be so used.

AMST 265W/3265W: Seminar in American Studies (3 credits)

This seminar will provide an in-depth study of a historical period, event, or cultural movement from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will produce a substantial essay on a topic approved by the instructor.

Related Courses: 12 Credits

Students will take four related courses. The approval of these courses as germane to the American Studies major will be left to the discretion of the advisor.


THE MINOR IN AMERICAN STUDIES

To complete the Minor in American Studies, students must take one history course from the approved list (HIST 210/3561, 215/3562, 238/3563, 243/3502, 244/3504, 246/3564, or 249/3516) plus ENGL 270/2201 or 271/2203 or ARTH 254/3440. They then must choose a "Track" from the four American Studies tracks. They must take three 200-level courses from within this track.

The American Studies Tracks are:

1. History, Culture, and Society

2. Literature and the Arts

3. Economics, Political Science, and the Law

4. The Americas

A student who wishes to minor in American Studies must complete either AMST 165/1201, Introduction to American Studies, and History 231 (no longer offered) or 232 (no longer offered), OR, English 270/2201 or 271/2203 or ARTH 254/3440 and History 231 (no longer offered) or 232 (no longer offered), plus three courses from one track. He or she must then choose a "track," a series of related courses within one of five broad areas of study. Participants will not be locked into taking courses only in their chosen track, but they must select three courses within this track in order to complete the minor. These courses may be used to fulfill a student's "related" course requirement; however, with one exception, a student may not use American Studies courses to fulfill simultaneously the requirements of his or her major field and the requirements of the minor. (History students may use 231 and 232 toward their major). Total of required and electives: 15 credits.

Students interested in the Minor in American Studies should see Anna Mae Duane, the Director of American Studies (CLAS 227; 486-4263; anna.duane@uconn.edu).


Graduate students can earn a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in American Studies in English, History, or Political Science. Please see the Graduate Handbook or meet with the Director of American Studies for details.

Students wishing to create an Individualized Major in American Studies should contact Margaret Lamb, Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (860-486-3631).

Interested students should obtain a Plan of Study from anna.duane@uconn.edu, Director, American Studies Program, Department of English, CLAS 227 (860-486-4263).


For your information: The university libraries now hold a number of periodicals that are of particular interest to American Studies students. Among these are:

American Quarterly (the leading journal in the field)

American Studies

American Literary History

Critical Inquiry

The Ethnic Studies Review

The Journal of American Culture

The Journal of Popular Culture

MELUS (The Journal of the Society for the Study of the MultiEthnic Literature of the United States)

Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature

New England Quarterly

Prospects: An Annual Journal of American Cultural Studies

Representations

Signs: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society

William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History and Culture

The library also holds all of the major discipline-based periodicals (the crucial journals in the fields of History, English, Anthropology, Art History, and Political Science) and a number of journals that relate to particular avenues of Ethnic Studies. Students can also access the American Studies Crossroads Project (Georgetown University) and the American Studies Website (American Studies Association), the most useful and user-friendly databases in the field.

Faculty      Tracks and Courses      Plan of Study - Major      Plan of Study - Minor



This page created 9 February 2007. Last updated 13 April 2010.
For questions about the program, contact Anna Mae Duane. For problems with links, contact Mark Newall.

      
Faculty         Classes        Plan of Study American Studies Program
CLAS 227
(860-486-4263)
Anna Mae Duane