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Twin Cities Campus

American Studies B.A.

American Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 33
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
American Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of American Society. The program provides a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of critical issues to American society, with an emphasis on deep historical, cultural, and political understandings. Faculty in the program come from a range of fields and have varied expertise. Students majoring in American Studies undertake a unique, interdisciplinary study of American society, gaining critical perspectives on past and contemporary issues and topics. They typically pursue their own interests within the very broad range of educational opportunities in the program. Courses offered by the department explore a wide range of topics, including popular culture, politics, migration, religion, history, race, gender, and sexuality, as well as important issues such as America's changing place in the world, foreign policy, the events of 9/11, and economic crises and inequality. Majoring in American Studies provides an opportunity for students to pursue particular interests while gaining broad training in a variety of topics and interdisciplinary scholarship. The program of study provides opportunities for the development of writing, critical and creative thinking, and research skills, which culminate in the Senior Project. The Senior Seminar is a year-long course of study limited to graduating seniors in American Studies, giving a chance for undergraduates to work closely with the faculty member in developing and undertaking a major research project which serves as the capstone for the undergraduate program. This unique process allows students to use their skills and knowledge to conduct original research or creative work, which reflects their interests and expertise on a particular topic. In addition, the Department of American Studies cooperates with the Departments of African-American and African Studies, American Indian Studies, Chicano & Latino Studies, and Asian American Studies, which makes it possible for students to concentrate their studies in one of those cultural areas. American Studies provides a unique preparation for students interested in an interdisciplinary approach to a particular aspect of American society, while preparing them for careers or further graduate training. The program encourages service learning, internships, and partners with the Minnesota Historical Society to place undergraduates into working on and researching public history. Graduates are well prepared for work in the public and private sector, as well as nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. Current alumni work in a range of fields including education, non-profits, research, historical preservation, journalism, mass media, law, and medicine. Transfer students interested in American Studies should contact the Department of American Studies to discuss previous coursework, transfer credits, and likely course of study at Minnesota. Students wishing to double major or minor should also contact the department about developing a course of study and graduation plan.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 4 semester(s) of any second language. with a grade of C-, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department or college.
CLA BA degrees require 4 semesters or the equivalent of a second language. CLA degrees require students to complete 48 credits of upper division coursework taken at the 3xxx, 4xxx, or 5xxx level. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, this program is not held to the CLA requirement of 18 upper division credits outside the major. All incoming CLA freshmen must complete the First Year Experience course sequence. Students may earn a BA or a minor in American studies, but not both.
Preparatory Courses
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AMST 1012 - Migrants, Refugees, Citizens, and Exiles: The U.S. on an Immigrant Planet [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 1401 - Comparative Genders and Sexualities [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 1511 - Americans Abroad: Rethinking Travel, Culture, & Empire [GP, HIS] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 1905 - Freshman Seminar (3.0 cr)
· AMST 1xxx
· AMST 2011 - The United States since September 11 [CIV, HIS] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 2021 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
· AMST 2031 - Chasing the American Dream: Economic Opportunity & Inequality in the U.S. [DSJ, HIS] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 2xxx
· AMST 1011 - Religions and American Identity in the United States from World War II to the Present [CIV] (3.0 cr)
or RELS 1011 - Religions and American Identity in the United States from World War II to the Present [CIV] (3.0 cr)
Major Courses
Other courses may be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.
Take 7 or more course(s) totaling 21 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AMST 3113W - Global Minnesota: Diversity in the 21st Century [DSJ, WI] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3114 - America in International Perspective [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3117 {Inactive} [SOCS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3252W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1900 to 1940 [HIS, CIV, WI] (4.0 cr)
· AMST 3253W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1940 to the Present [HIS, CIV, WI] (4.0 cr)
· AMST 3713 - Lands and Homelands in the American Indian Great Lakes [HIS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3920 - Topics in American Studies (1.0-5.0 cr)
· AMST 3993 - Directed Studies (1.0-9.0 cr)
· AMST 3xxx
· AMST 4301 - Workers and Consumers in the Global Economy [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 4xxx
· AMST 3001 - Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
or AAS 3001 - Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3003 - Public History (3.0 cr)
or AMIN 3001 - Public History (3.0 cr)
or HIST 3001 - Public History (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3752 - Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
or CHIC 3752 - Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 4101 - Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in America [HIS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
or GLBT 4101 - Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in America [HIS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
Proseminar Sequence
The senior project requirement is fulfilled by completing an original research project within a two semester proseminar led by an American Studies faculty member. The second semester is writing intensive and concludes with a public presentation. Students who chose to complete a senior project in another major still have to complete the AMST Proseminar Sequence.
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling exactly 6 credit(s) from the following:
· AMST 4961 - Proseminar I (3.0 cr)
· AMST 4962W - Second Proseminar in American Studies [WI] (3.0 cr)
Upper Division Writing Intensive within the major
Students are required to take one upper division writing intensive course within the major. If that requirement has not been satisfied within the core major requirements, students must choose one course from the following list. Some of these courses may also fulfill other major requirements.
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· AMST 3113W - Global Minnesota: Diversity in the 21st Century [DSJ, WI] (3.0 cr)
· AMST 3252W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1900 to 1940 [HIS, CIV, WI] (4.0 cr)
· AMST 3253W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1940 to the Present [HIS, CIV, WI] (4.0 cr)
· AMST 4962W - Second Proseminar in American Studies [WI] (3.0 cr)
 
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AMST 1012 - Migrants, Refugees, Citizens, and Exiles: The U.S. on an Immigrant Planet (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Immigration to the United States at various historical periods and across geographical/political terrains. How immigration, as a national/racial project, is shaped by legal categories and discursive practices based on race, class, gender, and sexuality. Diverse ways marginalized groups produce national/transnational political practices.
AMST 1401 - Comparative Genders and Sexualities (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Gender/sexual practices/identities within international framework. How such practices/identities reflect/refract national ideals and express national/international division.
AMST 1511 - Americans Abroad: Rethinking Travel, Culture, & Empire (GP, HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
In this course, we will look at Americans (including ourselves) who travel abroad and what their experiences, both in the present and historically, tell us about how we imagine others and our/their place in the world. What do these experiences tell us about who we are as a people, a culture, and a nation? This course will examine how these experiences have transformed (and continue to transform) Americans and the countries and cultures with which they interact. Indeed, this course challenges students to consider the overall effects that these processes have had on America’s relationship with the rest of the world.
AMST 1905 - Freshman Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics specified in Class Schedule.
AMST 2011 - The United States since September 11 (CIV, HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
How American citizenship and nationhood have changed since 9/11. The event and its aftermath in historical perspective. Political, economic, and military antecedents. How 9/11 has changed relations between the U.S. government, U.S. citizens, immigrants, and international community. How 9/11 has been remembered.
AMST 2031 - Chasing the American Dream: Economic Opportunity & Inequality in the U.S. (DSJ, HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course begins by focusing on the historical origins and meanings of the American dream. How did this dream of unlimited opportunity come about? What has it meant in different historical moments and to divergent social groups? And, why does it continue to be such a powerful and compelling idea in the United States and around the world?
AMST 1011 - Religions and American Identity in the United States from World War II to the Present (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02008 - AmSt 1011/RelS 1011
Typically offered: Every Fall
Political/cultural watersheds of last 60 years. Changing ideas about religion. Debates within/between religious traditions/communities. How gender, race, class, and sexuality have shaped relationships between religion and politics. Tensions between secularism and religiosity and liberalism and fundamentalism. Ways in which religion has acted as both a progressive and a conservative political force.
RELS 1011 - Religions and American Identity in the United States from World War II to the Present (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02008
Typically offered: Every Fall
Political/cultural watersheds of last 60 years. Debates within/between religious traditions/communities. How gender, race, class, sexuality have shaped relationships between religion/politics. Tensions between secularism/religiosity, liberalism/fundamentalism.
AMST 3113W - Global Minnesota: Diversity in the 21st Century (DSJ, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Diverse cultural (racial, ethnic, class) groups in America. Institutions/processes that shape their relations and create domination, resistance, hybridity, nationalism, racism, alliance. Specific content may vary.
AMST 3114 - America in International Perspective (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The nature of international cultural exchange. The impact of U.S. cultures and society on other countries of the world as well as the impact of other cultures and societies on the United States.
AMST 3252W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1900 to 1940 (HIS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Historical analysis of how popular arts represent issues of gender, race, consumerism, and citizenship. How popular artists define boundaries of citizenship and public life: inclusions/exclusions in polity and national identity. How popular arts reinforce/alter political ideologies.
AMST 3253W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1940 to the Present (HIS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring & Summer
Historical analysis of how popular arts represent issues of gender, race, consumerism, and citizenship. How popular artists define boundaries of citizenship and public life: inclusions/exclusions in polity and national identity. How popular arts reinforce/alter political ideologies.
AMST 3713 - Lands and Homelands in the American Indian Great Lakes (HIS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01496
Typically offered: Every Fall
Tribes that have strong historic ties to Minnesota region, such as the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Ho-Chunk Nations. Integrity/viability of American Indian societies. Conflict of cultures that occurred with Native American and Euroamerican contact in Minnesota and the Great Lakes.
AMST 3920 - Topics in American Studies
Credits: 1.0 -5.0 [max 10.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics specified in Class Schedule.
AMST 3993 - Directed Studies
Credits: 1.0 -9.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Guided individual reading or study. prereq: instr consent
AMST 4301 - Workers and Consumers in the Global Economy (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Impact of global economy on workplaces/workers in the United states, Mexico, and Caribbean countries. Influence on consumption. Consequences for American culture/character. Effects on U.S./Mexican factory work, service sector, temporary working arrangements, offshore production jobs in Dominican Republic, and professional/managerial positions.
AMST 3001 - Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01126 - AAS 3001/AmSt 3001
Typically offered: Every Spring
Interdisciplinary overview of Asian American identities. Post-1965 migration/community. History, cultural productions, and concerns of Americans of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, Filipino, and Southeast Asian ancestry.
AAS 3001 - Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01126
Typically offered: Every Fall
Interdisciplinary overview of Asian American identities. Post-1965 migration/community. History, cultural productions, and concerns of Americans of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, Filipino, and Southeast Asian ancestry.
AMST 3003 - Public History
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01090
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Interpretations of collective past as produced in public venues, including museum exhibitions, films, theme parks, websites. Intellectual and political issues in history produced for public audiences. Career opportunities.
AMIN 3001 - Public History
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01090 - AmIn 3001/AmSt 3003/Hist 3001
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Interpretations of collective past as produced in public venues, including museum exhibitions, films, theme parks, and websites. Intellectual and political issues in history produced for public audiences. Career opportunities. prereq: instr consent
HIST 3001 - Public History
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01090 - AmIn 3001/AmSt 3003/Hist 3001
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Interpretations of collective past as produced in public venues, including museum exhibitions, films, theme parks, websites. Intellectual and political issues in history produced for public audiences. Career opportunities. prereq: instr consent
AMST 3752 - Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02404
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to sociological analysis of theoretical/methodological approaches to Chicano/a and Latina/o communities. Socioeconomic conditions, education, cultural change, the family, gender relations, political experiences. Theories, issues, methods of sociological research. Debates regarding qualitative/quantitative research methods.
CHIC 3752 - Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02404 - AmSt 3752/Chic 3752
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to sociological analysis of theoretical/methodological approaches to Chicano/a and Latina/o communities. Socioeconomic conditions, education, cultural change, the family, gender relations, political experiences. Theories, issues, methods of sociological research. Debates regarding qualitative/quantitative research methods.
AMST 4101 - Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in America (HIS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01556
Typically offered: Every Fall
Ways public and private life intersect through the issues of gender, sexuality, family, politics, and public life; ways in which racial, ethnic, and class divisions have been manifest in the political ideologies affecting private life.
GLBT 4101 - Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in America (HIS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01556
Typically offered: Every Fall
Ways public and private life intersect through the issues of gender, sexuality, family, politics, and public life; ways in which racial, ethnic, and class divisions have been manifest in the political ideologies affecting private life.
AMST 4961 - Proseminar I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Classic/contemporary works/problems. Development of American Studies. Idealizing of American past. Challenges of multiculturalism. Contemporary themes. prereq: AmSt jr or AmSt sr or instr consent
AMST 4962W - Second Proseminar in American Studies (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Problem related to representative theme, figure, or period. Students research/write senior theses. prereq: AmSt sr or instr consent
AMST 3113W - Global Minnesota: Diversity in the 21st Century (DSJ, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Diverse cultural (racial, ethnic, class) groups in America. Institutions/processes that shape their relations and create domination, resistance, hybridity, nationalism, racism, alliance. Specific content may vary.
AMST 3252W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1900 to 1940 (HIS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Historical analysis of how popular arts represent issues of gender, race, consumerism, and citizenship. How popular artists define boundaries of citizenship and public life: inclusions/exclusions in polity and national identity. How popular arts reinforce/alter political ideologies.
AMST 3253W - American Popular Culture and Politics: 1940 to the Present (HIS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring & Summer
Historical analysis of how popular arts represent issues of gender, race, consumerism, and citizenship. How popular artists define boundaries of citizenship and public life: inclusions/exclusions in polity and national identity. How popular arts reinforce/alter political ideologies.
AMST 4962W - Second Proseminar in American Studies (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Problem related to representative theme, figure, or period. Students research/write senior theses. prereq: AmSt sr or instr consent