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 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 371     Conquest and Emancipation on the Sea Islands of South Carolina  (4)

The course incorporates the study of history, archaeology, literature, religion, and film and popular culture in historic Beaufort, S.C., one of the crucial sites in America's Civil War. It considers the rich and long history of the people who explored, colonized, and thrived in this coastal region and focuses on the momentous period from 1850 to 1880. The course includes field expeditions to nearby historical sites and opportunities to interact with local experts on the region's history and culture. Prerequisite: Only open to students who have completed AMST 370 and been admitted to the South Carolina Sea Islands program.

AMST 391     Advanced Topics in American Studies  (4)

Concentrated study in a single area, topic, controversy, movement, or figure in American Studies. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic differs. Prerequisites will vary by topic.

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)

An opportunity for students to explore a topic of interest in an independent or directed manner. Open only to students pursuing majors in American studies. Prerequisite: Instructor prerequisite override required.