The American Studies Area Program is an interdisciplinary program for students majoring in English, history, government and foreign affairs, art, rhetoric and communication studies, and other departments.
For further information please contact Professor Harold Kolb, 429 Bryan Hall; Professor Alan Howard, 427 Bryan Hall; or Professor Edward Ayers, 203 Levering Hall.
Status as a rising second- or third-year student. ENWR 101 Expository Writing (or exemption) For majors in English and American Studies: ENLT courses are recommended, but not required. For majors in history and American Studies: There are no prerequisites for the history major, though 100-level seminars are recommended.
Normally, the American Studies Program holds a general meeting for interested students during Pre-registration Week in the Spring semester. Students can pick up application forms at any time from the Undergraduate English Secretary in Bryan Hall.
I. Courses required of all students and, with the exception of
This course, taken in the first semester of the program, introduces the theory and practice of American Studies through readings and guest lectures by faculty from various departments in The University who practice some of the many varieties of American Studies. Wide ranging and eclectic reading and a number of short papers will be assigned in this course since excellence in written expression is one of the collateral goals of both the course and the program.
ENAM 484/HIUS 406: Research Seminar in American Studies This seminar normally continues the discussion of the subject matter of ENAM/HIUS 483 by focusing on a single topic for intensive study. In recent years, topics have included The 1890's, The Ordeal of Mark Twain, Daniel Boone and American Individualism, The Influence of Puritanism, The Gilded Age, Industrialism and Democracy, The American South, and American Humor. The topic for 1993 is The American West: Fact, Symbol, Myth. Each student will write a research paper on an original topic.
Advanced Seminar taken in the second year of the program, the focus of the seminar varies from year to year. In 1995 the topic was "American Icons."
One additional course in American literature.
>Three courses in English literature: either ENGL 381-382 (History of English Literature) and one additional course; or three courses spread across the entire range of British literature.
Two courses that concern the American experience in related fields (architecture, arts economics, folklore, government, history, music, philosophy, religion). These courses must be taken at the 300-level or above, unless an exception is approved by an American Studies advisor.
Thesis Option: Although a senior thesis is an opportunity, not a requirement, many American Studies majors find that a substantial project that transcends course boundaries serves as a challenging and satisfying culmination to an undergraduate career. There are several options:
Eleven courses are required for the history major, including one on Europe before 1700, one on Europe since 1700, one on the United States, and two on Africa, Asia, or Latin America. (Students with AP scores of 4 or 5 in American or European history are exempted from the corresponding course in this distribution requirement). At least five courses must be at the 300-level or above, including the required major seminar (HIUS 406 for those in American Studies).
HIUS 357, 358, 405, and 407 will count as history courses toward the major. American Studies students may take an additional course on the United States, an exception to the rule for other majors that stipulates that no more than five courses may be taken in any one geographic area. Otherwise, all requirements are the same as for the major.
ln addition, American Studies students must take two courses that concern the American experience in related fields (architecture, art, economics, literature, folklore, government, music, philosophy, religion). These courses must be taken at the 300-level or above, unless an exception is approved by an American Studies advisor.
Thesis Option: In their fourth year students may write a thesis under the direction of a member of the history department (three credits).
Distinguished Major in History: Students may pursue a Distinguished Majors Program in History by taking (along with the required American Studies classes) the program's special seminar in the fall of their third year, HIUS 406 in the spring of the second or third year, and writing a thesis under the Distinguished Majors rubric in their fourth year. Students must be admitted to both the American Studies program and the Distinguished Majors Program in order to pursue this option; the programs are not linked.
Students who wish to be in the American Studies program and major in departments other than English and history will complete the required courses listed under I as well as the major requirements in the department of their choice. Students who are double majors will complete I above, as well as the requirements for both majors.
Fluency in a foreign language or course work beyond the 202 level required by the College is recommended. American Studies students find that mastery of a foreign language is a key step in acquiring a working knowledge of a foreign culture; it is becoming increasingly vital to an understanding of the culture of the Americas.
Class size: Each entering class is limited to approximately fifteen students.
Degrees: Students who are successful in the program earn the B.A. degree in the designated major with a "concentration in American Studies" (HEGIS code 151598).
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ