Current Courses

To register for an American Studies course and to see the full academic descriptions for the material, please see the registrar's website.

Fall 2017 Courses

AMST/MUS 39a:  American Music: From Psalms to Hip Hop 
Paula Jo Musegades | T, F 9:30 AM-10:50 AM | View Books

Explores the many varieties of folk, popular, and art music in American culture. We will focus on the stylistic development of select repertoires beginning with 18thcentury New England Psalm singing and African American traditions and continuing on through folk, jazz, art, pop, rock, and hip hop music. Throughout the course, music serves as a lens to examine diverse aspects of American culture and history with an emphasis on America’s shifting definition of identity. No musical background is required.

AMST 100a:  Classic Texts in American Culture Before 1900
Thomas Doherty | T, F 12:30 PM-1:50 PM | View Books

This is the core seminar for American studies majors; a text-based course tracing the American experience from the earliest colonizations through the nineteenth century.

AMST 103b:  Advertising and the Media
Maura Jane Farrelly | T, F 9:30 AM-10:50 AM | View Books

Combines a historical and contemporary analysis of advertising's role in developing and sustaining consumer culture in America with a practical analysis of the relationship between advertising and the news media in the United States.

AMST 106b:  Food and Farming in America
Brian M. Donahue | T 2:00 PM-4:50 PM and Th 2:00 PM-3:20 PM | View Books

American food is abundant and cheap. Yet many eat poorly, and some argue that our agriculture may be unhealthy and unsustainable. Explores the history of American farming and diet and the prospects for a healthy food system. Includes extensive fieldwork.

AMST 120a:  The Social and Theological Development of the Black Church in America
Cory Hunter | M, W, Th 12:00 PM-12:50 PM | View Books

Introduces students to the complex development of black Christianity in America. Topics include the emergence of various denominations; the development of particular theological, liturgical, and musical traditions; and the impact the black church has had on the political lives of African-Americans.

AMST 123b:  Interfaith, Interethnic, Interracial American
Keren McGinity | T, Th 2:00 PM-3:20 PM | View Books

Focuses on how religion, ethnicity, and race contributed to maintaining group separatism at some early points in American history and intersected to create a unified national identity at others.

AMST 181b:  Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving Environmental Sustainability of Brandeis and Community
Laura J Goldin | W 2:00 PM-4:50 PM and M 2:00 PM-3:20 PM | View Books

Get active, involved, and out of the classroom with this class! In this hands-on, field-based experiential learning course we focus on the human impact on the world's natural resources, and explore strategies for creating healthy, resilient, environmentally sustainable communities in the face of increasingly daunting environmental challenges. Students also create projects that can change the face of Brandeis and the local community.