American Studies (AMST)

AMST 251     Black Masculinity in the United States  (4)

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of constructions of Black masculinity in the United States from the twentieth century through the present. Autobiographical accounts are used to examine historical and current definitions of Black manhood that challenge and reinforce understandings of what it means to be both Black and male.

AMST 255     Imagining Africa  (4)

This course examines popular notions of Africa and its relationship to a global African diaspora. Literature is used to question how Africa has served historically as a metaphor for exoticism, sexuality, and savagery in western discourse and, in the contemporary world, as an imagined site of seemingly insoluble problems such as genocide, famine, and the collapse of the state.

AMST 310     Exploring Southern Identities: From the Rebel Yell to "We Shall Overcome"  (4)

This interdisciplinary course focuses on cultural and community formation in the Deep South. Faculty from related disciplines address the organic connection between location and culture, with emphasis on the region's music, architecture, foodways, and politics; the formation of communities and institutions is emphasized in considering larger events like the Civil Rights Movement. Prerequisite: HIST 100 or (HUMN 101 and HUMN 102).

AMST 333     Junior Seminar  (4)

Reading and discussion of significant texts from various disciplines including important theoretical analyses of American cultural and intellectual life.

AMST 340     African American Women's Short Stories  (4)

Focusing on the literary contributions of 20th century African American women fiction writers, this course specifically examines the shared and distinctive ways in which Black women writers represent the politics of Black womanhood in their short stories. This genre is an essential part of the Black women’s literary tradition that is often left unexplored. Collectively, these texts contribute to a radical literary tradition that implores readers to consider the way(s) in which race, gender, class, and/or sexuality inform the fictional lives of Black women and the lives of the writers. In addition to analyzing representations of Black female identity within the works of several prominent writers, the course traces specific themes such as power, privilege, and perspective.

AMST 351     Toni Morrison  (4)

This course explores selected fiction by Toni Morrison and some of the literary criticism that surrounds her work. It examines Morrison's treatment of race, class, gender, and sexuality in her fiction, and also considers some of her nonfiction, interviews, and speeches to gain a clearer understanding of her contributions to the American literary canon and the African American literary tradition.

AMST 370     The Civil War and Reconstruction in the South Carolina Sea Islands  (4)

This course examines the secession movement, plantation slavery, the impact of invasion and war, and the consequences of military defeat and emancipation, focusing on the South Carolina Sea Islands.

AMST 420     Senior Research Seminar  (4)

This seminar is designed to prepare and guide senior American Studies majors in the preparation of their senior theses. Weekly class meetings will be devoted to various topics related to their projects, including theoretical and practical problems of research, interpretation, analysis, and writing. Students will prepare regular written and oral submissions, and read and critique each other's work. They will deliver a final oral presentation on their completed project. Open only to students pursuing majors in American studies.

AMST 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

Open only to students pursuing majors in American studies. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.