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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2010-2011

College of Liberal Arts


American Studies

American studies is the interdisciplinary study of United States culture in all its varied aspects. Students learn to connect history, art, politics, religion, popular culture, literature, and other features of American life and to examine both the differences and the similarities among, for example, different racial and ethnic groups, historical periods, and media. This intercollege minor draws courses from 15 departments, courses emphasizing the interrelationship among current methodologies, thought, and scholarship concerning the study of American culture and society. The program encourages students to take advantage of the rich resources of the New England region through internships and independent studies at local museums, libraries, historical societies, and other institutions dedicated to the study and preservation of American culture. Students also can participate in exchange programs at universities with other regional or ethnic studies programs. Independent study, field work projects, and exchanges must be approved by the faculty member supervising the work and by the coordinator of the American studies minor.

The American studies minor consists of five courses. Students must take American Studies 501 as early in their careers as possible. In addition, students must take at least one other American studies course (preferably more), and at least one course concentrating on issues of race, gender, or ethnicity in America (starred [*] courses). No more than two courses of the five may be at the 500 level (departmental prerequisites may be waived for American studies students at the discretion of the instructor). Students must earn a C- or better in each course and maintain a 2.0 grade-point average in courses taken for the minor.

Because of the range and breadth of possible American studies concentrations, students are urged to see the coordinator and fill out an intent to minor form as soon as they become interested in the minor, preferably by the beginning of their junior year. Students may wish to focus their coursework in the minor around a coherent topic, either chronologically or thematically. Examples include but are not limited to: a specific historical period (for example, the twentieth century); race, ethnicity, gender, or class in America; popular culture; the arts; Native American studies; regional studies; urban, rural, and natural environments; American institutions (education, sports, religion, etc.). Students might also consider concentrating their major work in courses related to American Studies.

Students interested in minoring in American studies should contact the minor coordinator, Cait Vaughan , The Center for the Humanities, 322 Huddleston Hall, (603) 862-2179, e-mail

AMST 444A, Portable, Exportable Nation
AMST 501, Introduction to American Studies, and one of the following:
AMST 502, Introduction to African American Literature and Culture*
AMST 503, Introduction to Native American Studies
AMST 603, Photography and American Culture
AMST 604, Landscape and American Culture
AMST 605, Film in American Culture
AMST 607, Religion in American Life and Thought
AMST 608, Women Artists and Writers, 1850-Present*
AMST 609, The African American Experience in the Twentieth Century*
AMST 610, New England Culture
AMST 611, Indigenous New England
AMST 612, Periods in American Culture
AMST 613, Regions in American Culture
AMST 614, Native American Studies Topics
AMST 615, Asian American Studies Topics
AMST 620, Internship
AMST 665, Applied American Environmental Philosophy
AMST 695/6, Special Topics in American Studies
AMST 697/8, Seminar in American Studies
AMST 750, Applied American Environmental Philosophy
AMST 795/6, Independent Study
*These courses concentrate on issues of race, gender, or ethnicity in America.

Elective Courses
Electives are approved for the minor and announced each semester in the Time and Room Schedule and on the American studies Web site.