Skip Navigation

University Bulletin: Undergraduate Programs The George Washington University  

 
   
 

AMERICAN STUDIES

University Professor V.N. Gamble

Professors J.M. Vlach, R.W. Longstreth, J.A. Miller

Associate Professors T.A. Murphy, M. McAlister, C. Heap (Chair), T. Guglielmo, J.K. Kosek, S. Osman

Assistant Professors E. Peña, E. Anker, J. Nash, C.L. Warren, J.N. Cohen-Cole

Professorial Lecturers R.D. Wagner, O. Ridout, F. Goodyear, N.E. Davis, K. Ott, J. Deutsch

Bachelor of Arts with a major in American studies—The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Required courses in related areas—Two semesters of foreign language or placement into the third semester of a foreign language by examination; also, one course on a foreign culture, either selected from the CCAS list of foreign culture courses or as approved by the department.

3. Requirements for the major—AmSt 2010, 2011, 3900, 3901, 4500 and five courses in the student’s area of focus. Areas of focus are cultural politics; global connections; and space, place, and society. A list of appropriate courses for each area of focus is maintained by the department. At least three of the five courses in the area of focus must be offered by the American studies faculty.

Combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in the field of American studies—Students interested in the dual degree program should consult the department by the middle of the junior year.

Special Honors—For Special Honors in American studies, a major must meet the special honors requirements stated under University Regulations, be recommended by the faculty, and receive a grade of A on the senior paper written for AmSt 4500.

Minor in American studies—Required: 18 credit hours, including AmSt 2010, 2011, and four additional AmSt courses at the 2000-3000 level.

1050 Explorations in American Culture (3) Staff
  Exploration of different aspects of American culture depending on the topic. Topic announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
1070 The American Cinema (3) Deutsch
  History and criticism of American films. The course enables the student to recognize and evaluate cinema techniques, to express the evaluation clearly in writing, and to understand the role of films in the context of American culture. Laboratory fee. Same as AH 1070.
1100 Politics and Film (3) Anker
  How American films interpret and challenge political power in America.
1160 Race, Gender, and Law (3) Nash
  Significant civil rights cases, critical race theory, feminist theory, and current public policy debates on domestic violence, mass imprisonment, sexual assault, and racial profiling.
2010 Early American Cultural History (3) Murphy
  How culture was important in the creation of the United States—in its origins as a colonial outpost and its expansion across the continent; in its hierarchies and expressions of power, especially as organized by race, class, ethnicity, or gender; in the creation of democracy and the valuing of free expression; and in the development of cities and the varied uses of the countryside. Same as Hist 2010.
2011 Modern American Cultural History (3) Kosek
  The effects of culture in the shaping of the United States since 1876. The role of the mass media; effects of cultural conceptions on the physical landscape; changing ideas of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality; and the political meanings of cultural conflict. Transnational influences on U.S. culture and effects of U.S. culture abroad. Same as Hist 2011.
2020 Washington, D.C.: History, Culture, and Politics (3) Staff
  Introduction to interdisciplinary methods of studying the contemporary city. Major problems of metropolitan life, past and present, analyzed by faculty and community leaders. Emphasis on experiential team projects. Same as Hist 2020.
2071 Introduction to the Arts in America (3) Staff
  Same as AH 2071.
2120 Freedom in American Thought and Popular Culture (3) Anker
  America was founded on the premise of providing freedom to its people. But what, exactly, is freedom? The question has been debated in America since its founding and continues today; this course examines varied answers provided by American political thought and popular culture. Same as PSc 2120.
2125 Varieties of Feminist Theory (3) Nash
  Same as WStu 2125.
2144 Explorations in Historical Geography (3) Staff
  Examination of selected themes in the cultural geography of the United States over the course of its history, in relation to an overview of the historical geography of the country. Same as Geog 2144.
2320 U.S. Media and Cultural History (3) McAlister
  History and analysis of 20th-century U.S. media and culture, including the rise of consumer culture, film, and television. Racial, gendered, and national identities in the context of modernism, mass culture, and globalization. Same as Hist 2320.
2350 U.S. Religion and Politics (3) Kosek
  How religion and politics have influenced each other in the United States and how Americans have understood those influences. Religious violence; conflicts between faith and science; religious factors in racial and gender politics; and the separation of church and state. Same as Hist 2350.
2380 Sexuality in U.S. History (3) Heap
  Examination of the changing social organization and meaning of sexual practices and desires in American culture, with particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and gendered racial and class identities and politics. Same as Hist 2380/WStu 2380.
2410 20th-Century U.S. Immigration (3) Guglielmo
  Survey of immigration policy and immigrants’ lives. How immigrants have changed the United States and how the United States has changed immigrants. Same as Hist 2410.
2440 The American City (3) Osman
  An interdisciplinary introduction to the ethnic, cultural, political, and architectural landscape of the American city. Urban theory, race and ethnicity, urban history, planning and architecture, city politics, and cultural representations of the city. Same as Hist 2440.
2490 Themes in U.S. Cultural History (3) Peña, Warren
  Topical examination of the ideas, values, and modes of expression that have made American life distinctive, as revealed through a cross-cultural or global perspective. Topic announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. Same as Hist 2490.
2495 Special Topics in African American History (3) Staff
  Concentration on specific issues central to the African American experience. Consult the Schedule of Classes for issues to be addressed.
2520-21 American Architecture (3-3) Longstreth
  Stylistic properties, form and type characteristics, technological developments, and urbanistic patterns are introduced as a means of interpretation of historic meaning. Buildings are analyzed both as artifacts and as signifiers of social, cultural, and economic tendencies. AmSt 2520: 1600-1860; AmSt 2521: 1860–present. Same as AH 2154-55.
2530 Folk Arts in America (3) Vlach
  Ceramics, woodcarving, ironwork, decorative painting, weaving, and other crafts. Same as AH 2156.
2532 Introduction to Folklore (3) Vlach
  Survey of the forms of folk expression, including verbal art, music, dance, and material culture. Examination of the materials and methods of folklore research. Same as Anth 2532.
2533 Material Culture in America (3) Vlach
  Review and analysis of the cultural messages embedded in our material surroundings. Consideration of a range of humanly created artifacts, ranging from specific objects to vast landscapes. Same as Anth 2533.
2710 The United States in Global Context, 1898–Present (3) McAlister
  How the 20th- and 21st-century U.S. has been engaged globally, both politically and culturally, with attention to global culture, transnational ideas and social movements, foreign policy, and economic transformations. Same as Hist 2710.
2730 World War II in History and Memory (3) Guglielmo
  Examination of Americans’ histories and memories of World War II. Same as Hist 2730.
2750 Latinos in the United States (3) Peña
  Exploration of the term Latino and its impact on discussions of race, identity, and citizenship expectations throughout U.S. history. How geographic, linguistic, aesthetic, political, and economic factors construct Latino identity and influence policymaking and international relations. Same as Anth 2750.
3151 American Art in the Age of Revolution (3) Staff
  Same as AH 3151.
3152 American Art in the Era of National Expansion (3) Staff
  Same as AH 3152.
3324 U.S. Urban History (3) Klemek
  History of American urban life and culture from the colonial era to the present, focusing on transitions from pre-industrial to industrial and post-industrial forms. The social and spatial configuration of U.S. cities, and the urban politics of race, class, and gender. Same as Hist 3324.
3351 U.S. Social History (3) Stott
  Same as Hist 3351.
3352-53 Women in the United States (3-3) Harrison, Murphy
  Survey of women’s experience in U.S. history, the way gender has organized relations of power, and the impact of race, region, class, and ethnicity on women and on gender roles. Same as Hist 3352/WStu 3352-53.
3360-61 African American History (3-3) Chapman
  Same as Hist 3360-61.
3362 Black Women in U.S. History (3) Chapman
  Same as Hist 3362/WStu 3362.
3810 Building Cities (3) Staff
  Same as Geog 3810.
3811 Historical Archaeology (3) Staff
  Same as Anth 3811.
3835 Historical Archaeology Field Program (3) Staff
  Same as Anth 3835.
3900 Critiquing Culture (3) Anker, McAlister
  Modes of analysis, including ethnography and other cultural studies methods, applied to examination of the interaction of cultural texts and practices with structures of power. Theories and themes central to American studies; scholarly debate about mass culture, ideology, visuality, discourse, and affect. For departmental majors; minors admitted with permission of instructor.
3901 Examining America (3) Osman, Peña
  Modes of power and forms of identification within and across U.S. national borders. Social constructions of the nation; forms of diversity and identity, such as race, gender, and sexuality; and the transnational flow of people, ideas, culture, and religion. For departmental majors; minors admitted with permission of instructor.
3950 Special Topics (3) Staff
  May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. Topic announced in the Schedule of Classes.
4400 Independent Study (1 to 3) Staff
  Open to a limited number of American studies majors as directed research or as an internship with a Washington museum or historical society. Approval of advisor required.
4500 Proseminar in American Studies (3) Staff
  For American studies majors. Directed research and writing on special topics. Prerequisite: at least two of the required courses for the major (AmSt 2010, 2011, 3900, 3901). May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
 

The George Washington University

© 2013 University Bulletin
The George Washington University All rights reserved.

Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.