American Studies- Bachelor of Arts

For more information, contact the Director of American Studies, 120 McMillan Hall, 513-529-5333.

The Program in American Studies offers an interdisciplinary major that explores American culture, in all its complexity, from a variety of intellectual perspectives. In learning to make connections between a range of fields and disciplines from history to art, politics to religious studies, mass media to popular culture, among many others, students gain a multifaceted understanding of the United States in global context. The program fosters flexible thinking, creative problem solving skills, synthetic analysis, strong writing and oral presentation, an understanding of and familiarity with multiple kinds of media and texts, a broad understanding of social, cultural, and historical contexts, and intercultural awareness. By working with faculty to define an area of concentration, students come away with the intellectual skills and perspective necessary to understand, contextualize, and critically engage the opportunities and challenges of our complex, changing, interdependent world.

Program Requirements (34 semester hours)

Core courses (16 hours)

AMS 205 Introduction to American Studies (3)

AMS 206 Approaches to American Culture (3)

AMS 301 American Identities (3)

AMS 302 Transnational America (3)

AMS 401 Capstone in American Studies (4)

Areas of Concentration (18 hours)

Students must take 18 credit hours with at least 12 hours at the 200 level and above, incorporating at least three different disciplines from one of the areas of concentration shown below. A comprehensive list of courses in each of these areas is posted on the AMS website and is also available in pamphlet form at the Programs Office.

American Institutions, Ideas, and Experiences: This area of concentration focuses on the core institutions, ideas, and expressions that define America as a nation.

Diversity and Difference: This area of concentration focuses on intercultural awareness and the diversity of cultures that come together in the United States, addressing issues of race, gender, class, religion, ethnicity, sexual identity, and other social categories.

Global Perspectives on American Culture: (developed in consultation with an adviser) This area focuses on global perceptions and analysis of American culture and values, and on the position of the United States in the global world. AMS 207 is a prerequisite for this concentration and will count toward the 18 hours in concentration requirements. The rest of the credits will be taken from AMS courses at our partner universities.

Popular Culture, Media, Consumerism: This area of concentration focuses on consumer culture, popular culture, and mass media, examining the origins, meanings, and practices of the modern market place.

Public Culture and Civic Engagement: This area of concentration focuses on the practices and activities of civic engagement, the construction of shared identity and public memory, and the interpretation, presentation, and preservation of cultural resources.

Student Designed Area of Concentration: (developed in consultation with an adviser) This area of concentration allows a student to work with a faculty adviser to develop an individualized area of concentration in American culture. The proposed concentration needs to be approved by the director of the American Studies Program before course work is initiated.

Note: Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in American Studies meet the College of Arts and Science writing in the major requirement by completing the following course: AMS 206.

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