Courses

American Studies offers its student an exciting combination of small classes and hands-on learning that takes place both inside and outside the classroom. All courses are taught in discussion seminars by core faculty in the program. In addition to honing their speaking, writing, and research skills, students in American Studies learn how to analyze complex ideas, tackle programs with no clear answers, and engage with the world through a variety of platforms. American Studies majors work closely with both faculty and fellow students in the creation of museum exhibitions, documentary films, digital archives, theater productions, and online journals.

In American Studies, the city of Richmond, the nation, and the world all serve as laboratories of investigation and learning. Our students develop projects at the local level and also travel as classes to field sites from New Orleans to New York, from London to San Juan. American Studies increasingly emphasizes explorations of U.S. culture and society in relation to international politics, the global economy, and population migrations. For this reason, American Studies majors are also encouraged to study abroad.

American Studies

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  • AMST 201 Introduction to American Studies

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement(s): IF-Power/Equity/Identity/Cult (IFPE)

    Description
    Surveys multidisciplinary approaches to American studies with specific emphasis on methodologies, sources, themes, and major ideas.
  • AMST 298 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description
    Varying interdisciplinary topics or methodologies related to American studies. Area of study will vary according to instructor and course topic.
  • AMST 301 Seminar in American Studies

    Units: 1

    Description
    Advanced seminar that examines the historical, methodological, and theoretical development of American studies as an academic discipline. Offered fall semester only.

     

    Prerequisites

    AMST 201 and junior or senior status.

  • AMST 381 Richmond Seminar

    Units: 1

    Description
    A community-engaged seminar using Richmond to explore broader topics in American Studies, typically involving community collaboration and the creation of public scholarship, such as docudramas, exhibitions, and digital projects.
  • AMST 388 Individual Internship

    Units: 0.25-1

    Description
    Application of academic skills and theories in a selected work environment, plus related academic work supervised by a member of the faculty. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.
  • AMST 391 Tocqueville Seminar: Special Topics

    Units: 1

    Description
    Encourages students to look at the United States from international perspectives. Multidisciplinary and therefore uses theory and a variety of forms of texts--music, film, literature, primary sources, popular culture, and more--to view the U.S. through a transnational lens, in order to deepen student understanding of the U.S. as they see the country from different and alternative points of view.
  • AMST 398 Selected Topics in American Studies

    Units: 0.5-1

    Description
    Varying interdisciplinary topics related to American studies. Area of study will vary according to instructor and course topic.
  • AMST 399 Independent Study

    Units: 0.5-1

    Description
    Individually designed reading or research program conducted under faculty supervision.

     

    Prerequisites

    AMST 201 and permission of program coordinator and faculty supervisor.

  • AMST 401 Thesis

    Units: 1

    Description
    Thesis project designed, researched, and written by students under faculty supervision. Offered spring semester only.

     

    Prerequisites

    AMST 201 , senior status, 3.5 grade point average within the major, and a prospectus with bibliography approved by the American studies advisory council.

  • AMST 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description
    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 6 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

     

    Prerequisites

    Approval by a faculty mentor.