2017-2018 Catalog

AMST 290 American Studies Theory and Methodology

This course introduces students to key concerns and methods in American Studies by focusing on the significance of place, identity, and rights. While we will focus on the territory known as the United States, our readings and research will trouble the security of that designation. By examining the origins of settler colonialism in the Americas, focusing upon national borders and internal boundaries, and exploring the United States' global reach, we will study and develop different ways of understanding "America" as a product of civic rights that are extended and denied. In discussing race, gender, and sexuality, we will discuss how marginalized and "illicit" identities have been conscripted into, and radically exposed, exclusionary ideas of what it means to be American. Our study of captivity and confinement, be it a consequence of enslavement or imprisonment, will further expose just what is at stake in achieving the freedoms encapsulated in the notion of the American Dream.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • United States Diversity