American Studies



Professor Stock, director

Affiliated Faculty:

Professors:  Bhatia (Human Development), Borrelli (Government), Cole (Anthropology), Dorfman (Dance), Dunlap (Human Development), Fredricks (Human Development), Rivkin (English), Segrest (Gender & Women’s Studies), Steiner (Art History, Anthropology), Wilson (History); Associate Professors:  Canton (History), Downs (History), Flores (Sociology),  Garofalo (History), Grande (Education), Kim (Religious Studies), Manion (History) (part time), Martin (Film Studies), Pelletier (Art), Uddin (Religious Studies), Wilson (Music); Assistant Professors:  Bedasse (History), Gonzalez Rice (Art History), Graesch (Anthropology), Harris (Sociology), Jafar (Sociology)

The Major in American Studies

American Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of society and culture in the United States, which traces its roots in the academy to the early twentieth century.  At Connecticut College, the program has three related emphases:  the study of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and the critical examination of the role of the United States in the world.  The American Studies major is affiliated with Unity House, the multicultural center at Connecticut College, the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), the Women’s Center, and the LGBTQ Center.

The major consists of at least eleven courses, including four required courses.  All courses in American Studies should be at the 200 level or higher with certain 100-level classes as listed below or as permitted by adviser or director.

  •  American Studies  201D, or 201S;
  • One course in the study of race and ethnicity in the United States.  Students may select American Studies 206; Art History 356; Education 223; English 242, 326, 336, 337, 360, 493H, 494H; History 253, 309; Religious Studies 252; Sociology 203, 223; or a different course as approved by the adviser or director;
  • One course in the study of gender and sexuality.  Students may select American Studies 270; Education 316; English 337; Film Studies 311; Gender and Women’s Studies 103, 203, 224; Government 250; History 217, 341; Sociology 210, 212, 213; or a different course as approved by the adviser or director;
  • American Studies 465, normally taken during the student’s senior year.

Also required are:

  • Five courses from a single area of concentration at the 200 level or higher;
  • Two courses that treat the United States in comparative, transnational, hemispheric, or global perspective;
  • Thirty hours minimum of service learning, internship, fieldwork, or community service fulfilled under the auspices of a college certificate program, college course, Career Enhancing Life Skills (CELS) internship program, or Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS) community activity.

Advisers:  M.A. Borrelli, D. Canton, J. Downs, R. Flores, K. Gonzalez Rice, D. Kim, J. Manion, C. Stock

The Concentration in Comparative Race and Ethnicity

This concentration explores the formation of racial and ethnic categories and identities over time, across geographic space, and within the cultures of the United States and its borderlands.  It examines the political, economic, and social effects of these categories, as they are complicated by the forces of nationality, gender, sexuality, and class.  It also explores the history of anti-racism and other social movements for freedom.

Students much choose five courses from the following list for the concentration in Comparative Race and Ethnicity:

American Studies 206; Anthropology 202, 320, 350, 356, 360, 482 (formerly 382); Art History 356, 370; Dance 266, 434; English 123, 242, 336, 337, 360, 493H, 494H; Film Studies 311; Government 250, 493A, 494A; Hispanic Studies 224, 324, 329; History 205, 213, 214, 215, 225, 227, 253, 304, 309, 313, 330, 341, 450, 458, 460, 468; Human Development 304, 306, 321, 415; Music 103, 117; Religious Studies 252; Sociology 203, 208, 215, 223, 293, 341, 364, 405, 408; Theater 241.  The student may select other courses with permission of adviser or director.

The Concentration in Expressive Arts and Cultural Studies

This concentration explores the ways in which diverse people in the United States have found meaning through literature, the arts, and popular culture.  It also examines the ways texts and images have represented American identity both to Americans and to others in this hemisphere and around the world.

Students must choose five courses from the following list for the concentration in Expressive Arts and Cultural Studies:

Anthropology 229, 350, 356; Art History 231, 251, 261, 265, 276, 277, 278, 280, 281, 326, 356, 360, 370, 372, 440, 464; Dance 145, 266, 434; English 123, 126, 137, 207, 208, 213, 217, 218, 240, 242, 306A, 306B, 314, 329, 335, 336, 337, 338, 341, 343, 344, 360, 493B, 494B, 493C, 494C, 493H, 494H, 493L, 494L; Film Studies 101, 202, 311, 321, 338, 356, 360, 395W, 493C, 494C; Gender and Women's Studies 356, 418; Hispanic Studies 224, 251, 309, 324; History 304; Music 103, 117, 229; Philosophy 207; Theater 231, 241, 339D.  The student may select other courses with permission of adviser or director.

The Concentration in Politics, Society, and Policy

This concentration focuses on the development of social and political theories and policies that have tried to identify difference in human society.

Students must choose five courses from the following list for the concentration in Politics, Society, and Policy:

American Studies 450, 493A, 494A; Anthropology 202, 234, 350, 360, 382, 402; Economics 247, 255, 307, 326, 401, 402, 409; Education 223, 226, 316; Environmental Studies 258, 259, 260, 263, 326, 493E, 494E, 493G, 494G, 493U, 494U; Gender & Women’s Studies 103, 224; Government 111, 205, 206, 212, 214, 215, 226, 228, 231, 250, 251, 252, 258, 260, 262, 284, 304, 326, 352, 493A, 494A, 493G, 494G, 493Y, 494Y, 493Z, 494Z; History 253, 334, 341, 450; Human Development 103, 314, 321, 414, 415; Religious Studies 225, 229, 252, 254, 255, 256, 311, 330, 346; Sociology 203, 208, 209, 212, 213, 215, 216, 223, 227, 293, 364, 405, 408.  The student may select other courses with permission of adviser or director.

Courses that treat the United States in Comparative, Transnational, Hemispheric, or Global Perspective

All courses on Latin America or the Caribbean from any Department as well as:

Anthropology 238, 307, 350, 356, 360, 363, 370, 402, 450; Art History 261, 265, 278, 356; Economics 219 (formerly 319), 247, 250, 307; English 137, 241, 314; Environmental Studies 251, 263, 493K, 494K, 493U, 494U; Gender and Women's Studies 103, 203, 224, 235; Government 205, 206, 215, 228, 251, 307, 324, 348, 352, 493G, 494G, 493U, 494U, 493V, 494V; History 203, 217, 250, 253, 309, 324, 325, 334, 416, 448; Human Development 416; Music 108; Psychology 450; Religious Studies 202, 203, 207, 248, 252, 328, 330, 401; Sociology 400; Slavic Studies 251, 260.  The student may select other courses with permission of adviser or director.

The Minor in American Studies

The minor consists of American Studies 201D, or 201S; one course either in the study of race and ethnicity or the study of gender and sexuality as listed above and at least four other American Studies or cross-listed courses.  The four electives must come from a single area of concentration and from at least two different departments.

Learning Goals in the American Studies Major

American Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of society and culture in the United States. Coursework examines three themes in depth: comparative race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and the role of the United States in the world.  Its themes and skills are introduced in its gateway class, AMS 201 and refined in its required senior seminar, AMS 465:  Globalization and American Culture since 1945.  Coursework, advising, and associated faculty come from Anthropology, Art History, Dance, Economics, English, Film Studies Hispanic Studies, History, Government, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Theater.  The American Studies program is also affiliated with the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and the LBGTQ center.  Majors often also gain certificates from PICA, CISLA, or the Museum Studies program.

By the time they graduate, students should be able to:

  • Understand the meaning of interdisciplinarity--how various disciplines for example construct the category of evidence.
  • Use interdisciplinary methodology to analyze American culture in writing, research, and discussion
  • Define major tropes or themes in American life from colonial to the present and identify ways they have changed over time and space.
  • Engage in a critical analysis of the United States' changing role in the world.
  • Develop an awareness of issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and other forms of identity that contribute to and shape the American experience.

Courses

AMERICAN STUDIES  103  AMERICAN MUSIC  This is the same course as Music 103.  Refer to the Music listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  117  HISTORY OF JAZZ  This is the same course as Music 117.  Refer to the Music listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  123  INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE  This is the same course as English 123.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  127  SONGS  This is the same course as English 127.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  201D/201S  INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN STUDIES  A multi-disciplinary approach to the study of American culture and society.  Introduces students to the history of the American Studies movement, its current debates, and literature.  Readings are organized around two questions or themes:  Who is an American?  And where is America?  Other issues include race, class, gender, sexuality, borderlands, disability studies, citizenship, and transnationalism.  This is the same course as History 201.

               Open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors; and to seniors with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7 and is a designated Writing course.  J. Downs, C. Stock

AMERICAN STUDIES  201K  INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN STUDIES  A multidisciplinary approach to the study of American culture and society, introducing students to the history of the American Studies movement, its current debates, and literature.  Readings are organized around two questions or themes:  Who is an American?  And where is America?  Other issues include race, class, gender, sexuality, borderlands, disability studies, citizenship, and transnationalism.  This is the same course as Religious Studies 201.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  D. K. Kim

AMERICAN STUDIES  201M  INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN STUDIES  A multi-disciplinary approach to the study of American culture and society.  Introduces students to the history of the American Studies movement, its current debates, and literature.  Readings are organized around two questions or themes:  Who is an American?  And where is America?  Other issues include race, class, gender, sexuality, borderlands, disability studies, citizenship, and transnationalism.  This is the same course as History 201.

               Open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors; and to seniors with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7 and is a designated Writing course.  J. Manion

AMERICAN STUDIES  203  THE COLONIAL HISTORY OF NORTH AMERICA  This is the same course as History 203.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  204  THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY ERA  This is the same course as History 204.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  206  THEORIZING RACE AND ETHNICITY  This course employs a comparative approach to introduce students to concepts and theories of race and ethnicity.  Case studies from various national contexts are presented to broaden student understanding of the subject beyond the United States.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity 206/History 209.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7 and is a designated Writing course.  L. Garofalo

AMERICAN STUDIES  206f  THEORIZING RACE AND ETHNICITY  (In Spanish)  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental texts in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing American Studies 206f must concurrently register for American Studies/Comparative Race and Ethnicity 206/History 209.  This is the same course as History 209f.  L. Garofalo 

AMERICAN STUDIES  207  INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN LITERATURE:  THE 19th CENTURY  This is the same course as English 207.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  208  INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN LITERATURE:  THE 20th CENTURY AND THE PRESENT  This is the same course as English 208.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  214  POLITICS AND CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1890 TO 1945  This is the same course as History 214.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  215  POLITICS AND CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1945  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/History 215.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  217  SAME-SEX SEXUALITY IN WORLD HISTORY  This is the same course as Gender and Women′s Studies/History 217.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  218  GLOBAL QUEER HISTORIES  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies/History 218.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  225  AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY 1865-PRESENT  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/History 225.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  227  AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY 1619-1865  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/History 227.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  231  AMERICAN DRAMA  This is the same course as Theater 231.  Refer to the Theater listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  242  THE HISTORY AND GENDER IN THE UNITED STATES This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies/History 242.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  248  NARRATIVES OF ILLNESS  This is the same course as History 248.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  253  NO HOMELAND IS FREE:  CHINESE AMERICAN LITERATURE  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/East Asian Studies/English 253.  Refer to the East Asian Studies listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  255  RELIGION AND PUBLIC LIFE  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity 256/Religious Studies 255.  Refer to the Religious Studies listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  257  LATINOS IN THE UNITED STATES  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/History 257.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  270  HISTORY OF SEXUALITY IN THE U.S.  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies/History 270.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  309  THE HISTORY OF SLAVERY AND EMANCIPATION IN THE AMERICAS  This is the same course as Gender and Women′s Studies/History 309.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  319  THE COLD WAR IN THE THIRD WORLD  This is the same course as History 319.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  325  ETHNOHISTORY OF MINORITY COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND  This is the same course as Anthropology 325/History 326.  Refer to the Anthropology listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  330  MEDITATIONS ON THE  HISTORY OF  THE AMERICAN SOUTH  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies/History 330.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  334  HISTORICIZING 9/11, INTERNATIONALLY AND LOCALLY  This is the same course as History 334.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  335  BLACK WOMEN IN PRINT AND ON SCREEN  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity 336/English 355/Film Studies/Gender and Women's Studies 335.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  339  EUGENE O'NEILL AND HIS AMERICA  This is the same course as Theater 339D, 340D.  Refer to the Theater listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  341  CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN U.S. HISTORY  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies/History 341.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  350  EDUCATION AND THE REVOLUTIONARY PROJECT IN LATIN AMERICA  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/Education/Gender and Women′s Studies 350.  Refer to the Education listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  356  RADICAL DIETS:  FOOD AND DRINK IN AMERICAN LITERATURE  This is the same course as English 356.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  373  HOME:  THE WHY BEHIND THE WAY WE LIVE  This is the same course as Art History 373.  Refer to the Art History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  410  ″DRAG YOU OFF TO MILLEDGEVILLE″:  MIND, POWER, AND MENTAL HEALTH  This is the same course as Gender and Women′s Studies/History 410.  Refer to the Gender and Women′s Studies listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  425  FOOD AND MIGRATION  This is the same course as Anthropology 425.  Refer to the Anthropology listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  450 LATIN AMERICAN IMMIGRATION This is the same course as History 450.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  454  THE REAGAN REVOLUTIONAMERICAN CONSERVATISM, 1940-1990  This is the same course as History 454.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  457  NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA  This is the same course as History 457.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  458  SOUTH OF CANADA IS THE MASON-DIXON LINE:  THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE NORTH, 1925-1975  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/History 458.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  460  THE BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLE 1946-1968  This is the same course as History 460.  Refer to the History listing for a course description

AMERICAN STUDIES  463  CITY UPON THE HILL:  SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY NEW ENGLAND AND AMERICAN IDENTITY  This is the same course as History 463.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  465  GLOBALIZATION AND AMERICAN CULTURE SINCE 1945  An exploration of the impact of increased American economic, cultural, and military presence throughout the world since the end of World War II.  This is the same course as History 465.

               Prerequisite:  Open to senior American Studies majors, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  C. Stock

AMERICAN STUDIES  468  RACE AND SEX IN EARLY AMERICA  This is the same course as Gender and Women′s Studies/History 468.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  476  THE GLOBAL 1960s  This is the same course as History 476.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  482  URBAN ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY:  AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF OBJECTS AND CULTURE IN URBAN AMERICA  This is the same course as Anthropology 482.  Refer to the Anthropology listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  493A, 494A  CULTURE, POLITICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 493G, 494G/Government 493A, 494A.  See the Government listing for a course description.

AMERICAN STUDIES  291, 292  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

AMERICAN STUDIES  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

AMERICAN STUDIES  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

AMERICAN STUDIES  497-498  HONORS STUDY