American Studies

Website: sewanee.edu/academics/american-studies/

The comprehensive survey of American culture not only explores American history and literature, but also incorporates anthropology, political science, religion, and art. In the Junior Seminar, students gain highly transferable theoretical and methodological skills necessary for understanding American culture and conducting independent research. Majors complete an independent research project, assembled from at least two disciplines of their choosing, during the first semester of senior year. 

American studies is an interdisciplinary major that fosters an understanding of past and contemporary American culture. While requiring a substantial foundation in American literature and history, the program also encourages students to explore nontraditional methods and subjects. The major is assembled usually from the fields of history, literature, anthropology, politics, religion, and art history. The junior seminar for majors introduces students to important methodological and theoretical problems in the study of American culture. During the first semester of the senior year, students undertake an independent and interdisciplinary research project. The comprehensive examination in the second semester of the senior year covers the particular program of required classes and electives the student has chosen.

The program further encourages students to take responsibility for the design and content of their major course of study. 

Requirements for the Major in American Studies

The major in American studies requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements 1
AMST 333Junior Seminar4
AMST 420Senior Research Seminar4
ENGL 377American Literature I 24
ENGL 378American Literature II 24
HIST 201History of the United States I 24
HIST 202History of the United States II 24
Select five additional approved electives for the General Track in American Studies 320
Total Semester Hours44
Additional Requirements
A written comprehensive examination

Honors

Students with an average of B or above in courses that qualify for the major may be considered for honors; departmental honors are granted to those who achieve a B+ or better on the senior research project and on the comprehensive examination.

American Studies Courses

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 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.

Related Courses Attributed to American Studies

ANTH 301     American Culture  (4)

An anthropological study of the United States using community studies and topical essays to explore regional differences and national continuities. Symbols of self, home, community, and nation are used to interpret technology, the economy, leisure, popular culture, and social class, and patterns that typify America in general, and, in particular, the region of Appalachia.

ANTH 302     Southern Cultures  (4)

An anthropological study of the southern United States emphasizes cultural continuity in both mountains and lowlands. The course uses community studies and literature to explore how indigenous interpretations fit within and react against national patterns and how locality, race, status, and gender act as social principles.

ANTH 307     The Archaeology of Southeastern United States  (4)

The course introduces students to intermediate and advanced concepts of archaeology, prehistory, and early history using the Southeastern United States region and the Moccasin Bend National Historic Landmark as primary case studies. Lecture and discussion are supplemented by archaeological field and laboratory exercises, site visits, and guest lectures on special topics. The course has a laboratory component consisting of field and laboratory training and research, but this does not satisfy a laboratory science requirement. Prerequisite: ANTH 106.

ANTH 411     Research Seminar: Campus Life and Academic Culture  (4)

How do social and academic life interact on our campus? Using interviews, observation, and other anthropological methods, the class explores how enduring academic traditions interact with changing collegiate experience and American culture. Specific foci include spatial culture; styles in studying, writing, class participation, and academic engagement; and various discipline/indulgence scenarios like the "work hard, party hard" attitude. Those in the course also consider how students choose and adapt to majors, and how majors differ in work culture and value orientation. Working collaboratively, students contribute to ongoing research as well as generate individual research papers.

ARTH 212     American Animation, 1910-1960  (4)

A chronological examination of the most significant and influential short and full-length animated features made in the United States between 1910 and 1960. This course begins with the experiments of Winsor McCay ("Little Nemo," 1911) and ends with the rise of made-for-television cartoon in early 1960s. Emphasis is placed both on major studios in New York, Kansas City, and Los Angeles and on pioneering directors and animators working in those studios. The course also situates the work of those studios, directors, and animators within the larger contexts of twentieth century American history and popular culture.

ARTH 310     Far East in American Visual Culture  (4)

An examination of the American fascination with and assimilation of art and culture of the "Far East" as demonstrated by japonisme in Victorian America, Zen in contemporary art, as well as Orientalism in popular culture. While emphasis is on painting, a variety of media (including architecture, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, photography, and film) are discussed. The ideological, religious, and social issues are addressed along with the stylistic and aesthetic ones. Prerequisite: One course in art history, Asian studies or American studies.

ARTH 340     American Art  (4)

A survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture in the United States from the Colonial period to 1913, with an emphasis on the relationship between American and European art and artists. Other topics considered include the development of art institutions in this country, in particular art museums and academies. Prerequisite: ARTH 104 or HUMN 202.

ARTH 348     Reframing Architecture and the Decorative Arts: Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco  (4)

A survey of three major modern art movements in Europe and the United States, in which architecture and the decorative arts became inseparable: Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco. This course explores the concept of decoration through stylistic, aesthetic, technological, and sociocultural readings of the works associated with those movements. Related art and architectural movements such as Victorian Gothic, American Renaissance, Aestheticism, De Stijl, Purism, and Bauhaus are discussed for contextualization of art works in question. Prerequisite: ARTH 104 or HUMN 202.

ASIA 110     Asian American Experience  (4)

This course provides an overview of social-cultural experiences of Asian Americans, considering various influences that shape the identity and social position of individuals in this diverse population group. Through readings, films, guest lectures, and field experiences, students will explore the heterogeneity of Asian American experiences in the United States while integrating theoretical and methodological concerns including concepts of race, ethnicity, migration, identity, power, class, generation, gender, and community.

EDUC 279     History of American Education  (4)

The course examines the social and cultural history of American education from the seventeenth century to the present day. Special attention is focused upon the following issues: the changing roles and structures of the family, the participation and leadership of women in education, and the impact of ideas about sexual difference in the construction of the values, ideals, and institutions of education.

ENGL 330     The Life and Literature of Tennessee Williams  (4)

A study of the major dramatic works of Tennessee Williams, as well as his poetry and fiction. The course also examines Williams' life and his impact on twentieth-century American literature and theatre. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 377     American Literature I  (4)

A study of American writing from the seventeenth century to the 1850s, emphasizing major works of the American renaissance by Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, and Whitman. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 378     American Literature II  (4)

A study of American writing from the 1830s to 1900, including works by Dickinson, Mark Twain, Chestnut, James, Jewett, Stephen Crane, and others. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 379     The American Novel  (4)

A study of major nineteenth-century American novels, including works by Hawthorne, Mark Twain, James, and Wharton. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 380     Whitman and Dickinson  (4)

A study of the first two important American poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, whose expansive free verse and tight, elliptical lyrics defined the possibilities for American poets for the next hundred years. This course examines in detail the careers and major works of these poets, with brief consideration of their contemporaries and literary heirs. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 391     Modern American Poetry  (4)

The origin and development of the modern period in American poetry, concentrating on the work of the major modernist poets: Frost, Pound, Stevens, Williams, and Eliot. The course includes a brief examination of their influence in poems by Berryman, Bishop, Brooks, Hughes, Lowell, Moore, Rich, Roethke, Wilbur, and others. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 392     Modern American Fiction  (4)

A study of novels by James, Wharton, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Warren, Ellison and others. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 393     Faulkner  (4)

A study of As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Sanctuary, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, The Hamlet, and Go Down Moses. The main business of each class meeting will be the presentation and peer criticism of one or more student papers. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 394     Literature of the American South  (4)

A study of the literature of the Southern Renaissance, including works by Faulkner, Warren, Lytle, Welty, and several contemporary Southern writers. Some attention is given to Southern literature preceding 1920 and to nineteenth- and twentieth-century Southern black writers. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 395     African-American Literature  (4)

A study of the major traditions of African-American writing from the nineteenth century to the present, including Frederick Douglass, Linda Brent, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Gaines, Toni Morrison, and Rita Dove. Not open for credit for students who have completed ENGL 212. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 396     American Environmental Literature  (4)

A study of writings from the colonial era to our own day reflecting diverse ways of imagining humanity's relation to the natural environment. Readings include both traditional literary texts by authors such as Thoreau, Cather, and Frost and seminal nonfiction by figures such as Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Rachel Carson, and Wendell Berry. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 397     Contemporary American Fiction  (4)

A study of representative American fiction published after World War II, including work by Thomas Pynchon, Josephine Humphreys, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Gaines, Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Stone, and Tim O'Brien. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

ENGL 398     American Poetry Since World War II  (4)

A study of American poets whose major work was published after World War II, concentrating on Elizabeth Bishop, Anthony Hecht, Donald Justice, Robert Lowell, Howard Nemerov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Richard Wilbur, and Mona Van Duyn. Among others, John Berryman, Maxine Kumin, Adrienne Rich, X.J. Kennedy, and Derek Walcott will also be considered. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.

HIST 201     History of the United States I  (4)

A general survey of the political, constitutional, economic, and social history of the United States. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 202     History of the United States II  (4)

A general survey of the political, constitutional, economic, and social history of the United States. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 204     Rich and Poor in America from the Colonial Period to the Present  (4)

A history of being poor in America focusing on the conjoined categories of "wealth" and "poverty" in the lives of impoverished people, and of private and public actions and policies affecting them from the colonial period through the early twenty-first century. Students consider how poor and non-poor Americans have understood what it means to be poor and wealthy, what causes poverty and affluence, and what remedies the former and enables the latter. For the period after 1870, the course incorporates the enlargement of Americans' vision to encompass global conditions of wealth and poverty. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 226     Politics and Society in Contemporary America  (4)

This course will survey the history of the United States since World War II. It will focus on the nation's emergence as an international superpower and the domestic political and social upheavals that accompanied this development. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 227     Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States I  (4)

Explores selected problems in the development of American ideas and social structures, 1789-1980. The first semester (1789 to 1877) examines the conflicts and tensions associated with the emergence of a democratic, capitalist society. The second semester (1877 to present) extends the questions posed during the first semester by focusing on development of industrial and consumer capitalism in the twentieth century. The course as a whole emphasizes the analysis and discussion of primary texts and pays close attention to issues of race, gender, and class. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 228     Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States II  (4)

Explores selected problems in the development of American ideas and social structures, 1789-1980. The first semester (1789 to 1877) examines the conflicts and tensions associated with the emergence of a democratic, capitalist society. The second semester (1877 to present) extends the questions posed during the first semester by focusing on development of industrial and consumer capitalism in the twentieth century. The course as a whole emphasizes the analysis and discussion of primary texts and pays close attention to issues of race, gender, and class. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 229     The Many Faces of Sewanee  (4)

This seminar introduces students to the facts and conceptual processes of history by using Sewanee and its immediate surroundings as a case study. Students employ historical methods within a variety of interdisciplinary contexts drawing on insights from archaeology, geology, literary analysis, and sociology, as well as social, political, military, and intellectual history to comprehend both what has happened here and how it is variously understood. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 231     African-American History to 1865  (4)

A survey of the history of African-Americans from their arrival in the English colonies to the end of the Civil War. African-Americans' struggle with slavery and oppression provide the central theme, but the course will address the various political, economic, social, and cultural conditions which contributed to the development of a unique African-American community. Particular attention will be given to the development of such institutions within this community as family, religion, and education. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 232     African-American History since 1865  (4)

A survey of the major topics and issues in African-American history from 1865 to the present: the era of emancipation, the turn-of-the-century nadir of race relations, black participation in both world wars, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and various dimensions of contemporary black life. The course will also explore some of the historiographical themes that have catalyzed current scholarship and will analyze diverse theories about the black experience in America. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 237     Women in U.S. History, 1600-1870  (4)

A survey of the history of American women which will consider how women experienced colonization, American expansion, the industrial revolution, war, and changes in the culture's understanding of gender roles and the family. The course also explores how differences in race, ethnicity, and class affected women's experience. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 238     Women in U.S. History, 1870 to the Present  (4)

A survey of the major changes in American women's lives since the end of the last century, including increased access to education, movement into the labor market, and changes in reproductive behavior and in their role within the family. Special consideration will be given to the movements for women's rights. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 316     The African-American Church in Slavery and Freedom  (4)

This seminar course examines the presence of the African-American church in the lives of African Americans and in the history of the United States. From its creation as an "invisible institution" during slavery to its dynamic existence during the era of black emancipation to its crucial presence during the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, the black church has been a vital force in framing the contours of African-American culture and shaping religious life in America. This course explores how the church has functioned as a formative social and political institution within a racially fractured but continually changing civic landscape. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 317     African-American Intellectual History  (4)

This course examines the development of African-American thought from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and explores various cultural, spiritual and intellectual dimensions of African-American life. Emphasis is placed on political, religious and literary figures, including the works of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Charles Chesnutt, Booker T. Washington, Henry McNeal Turner, Marcus Garvey, Zora Neal Hurston, Langston Hughes, Pauli Murray, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison, and Cornel West. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 318     African American Women and Religion  (4)

This class will examine African American Women's participation and critical role in religious life in America. It will explore black women's place in the formation of revival culture, the creation of religious ritual, and the institutional establishment of the black churches. Further, it will investigate black women's vital role in the dissemination of religious values within and between generations. Through biography and autobiography, this course shall address the ways in which black women have appropriated religious language and sensibility in constructing the narratives of their lives. In sum, it will explore the myriad ways African American women contested and critiqued their place in the church and the community, while simultaneously supporting and furthering black churches and promoting the health of religious life. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 322     Southern Lives  (4)

An exploration of Southern history through the lenses of biography, autobiography, and fiction. This seminar examines the careers of significant figures in the history and literature of the South from the antebellum era to the present. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 324     Colonial and Imperial Warfare in North America and Southern Africa  (4)

This seminar compares the warfare that accompanied colonial encounters in North America and southern Africa, from the first European contact through the early twentieth century. It focuses on wars fought in response to resistance by native peoples and on the use of native allies in warfare between imperial foes as windows into the processes of acculturation, resistance, dispossession, and representation that characterized the colonial encounter as a whole. Texts range from traditional military history to religious, cultural, environmental, and comparative approaches to the topic. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 325     Revolutionary America  (4)

A study of the development and challenges of early American nationalism. Students will consider the growth of republican institutions and ideas during the colonial era, the causes and conduct of the American Revolution, and the initial tests of the young republic. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 327     The Old South  (4)

An exploration of the Southern past from the earliest English settlements to the establishment of the Confederate States of America. This course charts the development of distinctive Southern political, economic, and social structures, examines the role of chattel slavery in shaping the region, and analyzes the causes of the war for Southern independence. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 329     The New South  (4)

An examination of Southern history from the end of Reconstruction to the early victories of the Civil Rights Movement. Students explore the transformation of the plantation system; map the influence of the section's new industries and cities; trace the roles of race, class, and gender in Southern society; examine the political issues and structures that governed the region; and probe the culture that has defined the South. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 330     History of Southern Appalachia  (4)

An examination of the events, people, movements, and themes of the region's past, from earliest known human habitation to the present. The course explores contrasting ways of life expressed by native and European peoples; implications of incorporating the area into the United States; the agricultural, industrial, and transportation revolutions of the nineteenth century; popular culture within and about Appalachia; contemporary issues of regional development and preservation; and ways the unique environment of these mountains has shaped and frustrated notions of regional identity. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 332     Twentieth Century American Culture  (4)

An examination of major issues and topics in the cultural history of the U.S. from the 1893 Columbian International Exposition to the implosion of the internet dot.com bonanza in 2000. To dissect and analyze the discourses of race, gender, class, and sexuality in American life, the class will concentrate on texts and images form the periods under examination, with special attention to the production and consumption of popular culture. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 334     Mass Culture and Popular Amusements in the United States, 1870-1945  (4)

A seminar on the development of mass culture and popular amusements in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Particular attention will be paid to the important roles of women in the invention of these new cultural forms and to social and economic tensions generated by the rise of a mass commercial culture. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 339     The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920  (4)

A seminar on the cultural history of the United States from the end of Reconstruction to the end of World War I, with emphasis on the problems of analyzing changes in politics, religion, labor and industrial production, retailing, amusement, and consumption. Underlying the class will be special attention to transformations of gender relations and identities at the turn of the century. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 347     The American Civil Rights Movement  (4)

This seminar will survey the major topics and issues of the twentieth-century Civil Rights Movement in America. In addition to exploring the lives and roles of popular figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Jesse Jackson, we shall also examine the contributions of important but less prominent figures such as Charles Houston, Medger Evers, Ella Baker, Clifford Durr, and Septima Clark. Emphasis shall be placed on each phase of the movement, from the formation of the NAACP at the 1909 Niagara Conference to the legal strategy to overthrow racial segregation to the nonviolent protest of the 1950s and 60s and finally ending with the Black Power Movement. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 375     The Outlaw in American Culture  (4)

This survey approaches the outlaw both as imagined in fiction, film, and music and as a real historical subject. Special attention is paid to how changing understandings of the "outlaw" correspond to specific moments in American history such as the settling of the West, gangsterism in the Great Depression, the rise of Black Power, and the development of new technology involving internet hacktivists. Legal and other-than-legal responses to the outlaw are also considered. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 393     America's Civil War  (4)

This course examines the military, economic, political, and social upheaval of mid-nineteenth century America. We will consider the failure of antebellum political mechanisms, the growth of sectionalism, justifications for and against secession, the methods and implications of war, competing constitutional systems during the conflict, efforts to eradicate Southern separatism, and the lingering cultural implications of the nation's fratricidal dispute. Students will employ the America's Civil War web site, as well as other media, in preparing for discussions, tests, and research papers. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 394     Reconstructing the South  (4)

This seminar investigates a variety of postbellum transitions in the United States South, as the defeated slaveholding society reluctantly conceded to less restrictive forms of labor and limited civil equality. Unlike traditional treatments of the era-which focus on politics and end with conservative overthrow of Republican rule-this course also considers changing modes of economic and social life, and concludes with the establishment of the Solid South in 1902. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

HIST 493     The Civil War and American Historical Memory  (4)

This seminar examines, through a variety of texts, the impact of the Civil War on American historical memory. The goal is to awaken in students' minds the enduring importance of historical events and to suggest way in which time, distance, and context affect how those events are understood. The seminar, then, is an historiographical excursion which treats a wide range of materials as meaningful historical documents. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.

MUSC 210     Music in Multicultural America  (4)

An exploration of historical experiences of various ethnic communities in the United States as they are expressed through music. The course includes an examination of how music has shaped and reinforced individual and collective identity. Issues concerning identity such as ethnicity, gender, generation, nationalism, and multiculturalism are discussed using case studies that represent African-American, Asian-American, Chicano/Latino-American, European-American, and Native American communities. Students also learn basic musical concepts and terminologies as well as basic analytical tools of ethnomusicology. Prerequisite: MUSC 101 or MUSC 105.

MUSC 223     American Music  (4)

A chronological survey of music in the United States from the colonial period to the present day with emphasis on the music of the twentieth century. The course examines both European-derived and vernacular styles (e.g., ragtime, jazz, and rock). Prerequisite: MUSC 101 or MUSC 105 or MUSC 141 or MUSC 151.

PHIL 311     American Philosophy  (4)

A study of the transcendentalism of Emerson and Thoreau and the pragmatism of Pierce, James, and Dewey with focus on the relationship between theories of reality and theories of value. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy at the 100- or 200-level (excluding PHIL 201).

POLS 107     Critical Issues in American Politics  (4)

A course devoted to examining a variety of politically-related contemporary issues, such as those related to education, health, or the environment. Presupposes students have at least some prior knowledge of governmental institutions and processes. Students join written and oral discourse to consider the background of problems, their political development, and possible resolution. Students may not receive credit for both POLS 101 and POLS 107.

POLS 203     The Presidency  (4)

A study of the office and powers of the President, presidential leadership, and the relations between the Chief Executive, Congress, and the executive agencies.

POLS 204     Legislative Process  (4)

The composition, organization, procedure, and powers of legislative bodies in the United States and abroad.

POLS 205     The Judicial Process  (4)

An examination of U.S. judicial process with particular emphasis on the federal court system in the context of the American political process. The central focus will be on judicial selection and socialization, the decision process, and the impact of judicial decisions.

POLS 304     American Political Thought  (4)

This course traces the emergence of different strands in American political thought, beginning with the rival interpretations of notions such as freedom and self-government during the period of the founding. Selected topics include race and strategies for social change, communitarianism and neo-conservatism, feminism, Christian fundamentalism, and green politics. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 330     Race and Ethnicity in American Politics  (4)

This course examines the many ways in which race and ethnicity play a role in American politics, including how race and ethnicity affect personal identity, political preferences, political participation, candidates and campaigns, public officeholders, and policymaking. Topics considered include racial identity, descriptive and substantive representation, intersectionality (the interaction of race, gender, class and other social categories), and the effect of race and ethnicity on current public policy debates. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 331     Constitutional Law: Balancing Powers  (4)

This course examines Supreme Court cases related to separation of powers and checks and balances by situating cases within varying theories of constitutional interpretation and by assessing the socio-political implications of those decisions. Cases studied include controversies about executive privilege, the Commerce Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and federalism. The course emphasizes, above all, the political role of the judiciary. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 338     Constitutional Law: Civil Rights  (4)

This course examines Supreme Court cases related to equality: by situating cases within varying theories of constitutional interpretation, and by assessing the socio-political implications of those decisions. Civil rights are specific governmental provisions to secure individual entitlements, as exemplified by the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws." Claims centering on race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability are examined, along with other claims of equality arising from the Fifteenth Amendment's prohibition of voting discrimination. The course emphasizes, above all, the political role of the judiciary. This course may not be taken by students who have taken POLS 332. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 343     Visions of Constitutional Order  (4)

This course in American political thought examines the problems of establishing and maintaining free popular government by considering the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sources and debates that informed the Founders' Constitution. Focus is on the multiplicity of the Founders' views rather than a single vision. Reference is also made to Lincoln's understanding of the Constitution in the Secession Crisis of 1861. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or POLS 105.

POLS 344     Myth America  (4)

This course is concerned with myths that have played a prominent role in our nation's self-conception and its political rhetoric -- such as the myth of the frontier, the myth of success, and the notion of the American dream. We will examine 1) the changing historical meanings of these myths from the colonial period to the twentieth century and 2) the gender aspects of these myths. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 373     African-American Political Thought  (4)

This course focuses on important African-American writers whose unique perspectives challenge us to think about questions of justice, equality and difference, morality, and rule. Readings begin in the nineteenth century (Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington) and proceed into the late twentieth century with selections from authors such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, James Baldwin, Shelby Steele, Cornel West, and Toni Morrison. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 390     The United Nations  (4)

The nature, organization, and function of the United Nations in a changing world environment. An emphasis on the U.N.'s work on peace as well as social, economic, and humanitarian issues. Not open to new first-year students.

PSYC 403     Psychology and Popular Culture in the U.S.  (4)

Did the World Wars "put psychology on the map" and convert Americans to the "therapeutic gospel"? How is the polygraph test related to Wonder Woman? Did humanistic psychology inspire Yippies and feminists in the 1960s -- and can humanistic psychologists be "real men"? This seminar explores such questions, using primary and secondary sources that link the history of psychology and popular culture in the U.S. Students evaluate critically the current popularization of psychology and explore relationships between popular and academic psychology. Prerequisite: Four courses in any combination from psychology and American studies.

RELG 343     Popular Culture and Religion in America  (4)

An examination of the religious forms implicit in selected aspects of American popular culture. Emphasis on interpreting theoretical studies and on critical analysis of typical examples.

RELG 391     Southern Religion  (4)

An historical and comparative analysis of the religious traditions of the Southeastern United States with particular reference to the interactions between these traditions with the social, political, and economic culture of the region.

RELG 393     Rural Religion  (4)

A study of the religious forms of rural society with special emphasis upon the rural church in the southeastern United States. Attention to historical, social, cultural, and demographic transformations of rural institutions from 1800 to the present. Fieldwork required.

SAST 220     Place, Memory, and Identity  (4)

This course explores critical intersections of memory, identity, and place from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students engage a series of concepts and skills regarding place--abstractly and concretely--as they relate to efforts by individuals, communities, and societies to gain meaning from the past for the present.

SPAN 389     U.S. Latino and Latina Literature and Culture  (4)

A panoramic survey of the cultural production of Latinos and Latinas, or Hispanics, in the United States. Representative works from various literary genres, films, and the visual arts serve as the basis for the examination of recurring themes, which include: identity and self-definition, biculturalism, exile, migration, social class, political and social engagement, race, gender, and sexuality. Taught in English. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 203 or higher or placement.

WMST 100     Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies  (4)

This course provides an introduction to contemporary analyses of women's economic, cultural, biological, environmental, and political conditions. We will explore commonalities and differences among women, both in the United States and in other nations. In so doing, we will engage the concept of gender as an historical and critical category relating to a woman's ethnicity, class, sexuality, and race. The course also will examine varieties of recent feminist thought, paying particular attention to the impact of this scholarship on traditional academic disciplines. Open only to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors.