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 2019 Courses

AMST/MUS 35A: History of Rock: Rock and Roll in American Culture
Paula Jo Musegades | T, F 11:00 AM-12:20 PM

Examines the historical context, stylistic development, and cultural significance of rock and roll spanning 1950s through the present. Close attention paid to how instruments, technology, mainstream media, and popular culture affect how rock music is created, marketed, and celebrated worldwide.

AMST 36B: Television and American Culture
Thomas Doherty M, W 2:00 PM-3:20 PM

An interdisciplinary course with three main lines of discussion and investigation: an aesthetic inquiry into the meaning of television style and genre; a historical consideration of the medium and its role in American life; and a technological study of televisual communication.

AMST 46B: American Biography
Eileen McNamara | T, F 12:30 pm-1:50 pm

Focuses on biography as a method of historical inquiry and literary expression. Students grapple with fundamental questions of the genre: Whose lives get memorialized and why? What can one life say about the period in which it was lived? How much attention should biographers pay to the private lives versus public accomplishments of their subjects? How do biographers wrestle with the fallibility of memory?

AMST 100A:  Foundations of American Culture
Thomas Doherty | T, F 9:30 AM-10:50 AM

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

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

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 125b:  Comedy and American Culture
Staff | T, Th 2:00 PM-3:20 PM 

Drawing upon multiple forms of cultural expression, students examine popular styles of humor and satire, using humor to gain insight into an "American" national character that has both shaped and been shaped by the country's comedic traditions.  

AMST/ANT 117A:  Decolonization:  A Native American Studies Approach
Lee Bloch | T, F 12:30 PM-1:50 PM

Examines "What is decolonization?" through the lens of Native American Studies. We will discuss issues ranging from settler colonialism, stereotypes, social movements, identity, cultural revitalization, landscape, and interventions into natural and social sciences.