Spring 2018 American Studies Courses

Courses are listed by campus.

AMST 1201: Introduction to American Studies

Tu Th  2:00-3:15pm, #11554

This basic introduction to the key issues of the field of American Studies will explore such topics as: the
role of space in American history; the role of immigration across history; the interplay of the arts with social
and political ideas; the place of race, gender, and ethnicity now and in the past; patterns of everyday life;
and architecture and material culture generally.

Professor: Wayne Franklin


AMST 3265W: Seminar in American Studies: Fascism and Antifascism in the United States

Tu Th  3:30-4:45pm, #10147

What is fascism?  How has it appeared in US history, and what impact has it had on this side of the Atlantic?  What is antifascism, and more broadly, what forces have checked the rise of fascism in the past?  As we will discuss, the United States has never had a fascist government, but it has seen the rise of fascist and proto-fascist movements that have had a real impact on US politics and institutions.  We will also explore how these movements have also been blocked from realizing their full potential by assertive counter-movements that do not always self-identify as “antifascist.”    

Professor: Chris Vials

AMST 3265W: Seminar in American Studies  

Mo 9:05-11:35am, #12393

This section of AMST 3265W provides students with the opportunity to devise, research, and finalize an independent project within the field of American Studies. Through both class meetings and one-on-one tutorials with faculty, students will identify topic and sources, present a research prospectus, finalize an independent project of their choosing within the field of American Studies, then write and present a final research product. 

Professor: Matthew McKenzie

AMST 3265W   Seminar in American Studies: African American Science Fiction and Fantasy

Tu Th 12:30-1:45pm, #13382

This course will explore alternative visions of society and relationships in popular genre texts, focusing on the work of African American creators in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Incorporating literature, essays, art, and music, the emphasis will be on twentieth and twenty-first century explorations, reading them as part of a wider dialogue in America about identity.  We will use counterfactual and future-focused texts to highlight realities and experiences outside dominant narratives. Creators included in the discussion will include Samuel Delaney, Octavia Butler, Nisi Shawl, N. K. Jemisin, clipping, Sun Ra, Victor Lavalle, and others.

Professor: Jacob Horn

AMST 1201: Introduction to American Studies

Tu Th  2:00-3:15pm, #13993

What is an American? A multi-disciplinary inquiry into the diversity of American societies and cultures.

Professor: Mary Cygan

AMST 3265W: Seminar in American Studies

In the 1960s, life in the United States turned. The decade began with an aging war hero occupying the White House, and two young, articulate presidential candidates, whose respective fortunes would rise and fall in reverse order. It was a decade that entertained many “truths” so-called at the start, a button down world in clothing and culture, and a counterculture at the end.

This seminar will examine the significant changes that took place in the 1960s, from the enthusiasm at the beginning, with a new President, a space program, and the Peace Corps, to the civil rights demonstrations, and rioting at the end. Throughout most of the decade, the pall of war hung over the country. The matters we will explore include the politics of the time, the war in Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, civil rights, the women’s movement, the Warren court and television.  We will examine these topics against the backdrop of U.S. History, the Constitution, Political Science, Speech, Journalism, Novels and Culture.

Professor: Thomas Hogan