Major in American Studies
The interdisciplinary major in American studies consists of 36 hours of course work, distributed as follows:
1. Core Requirements (6 hours)
2. International Requirement (3 hours)
3. Distribution Requirements (18 hours)
4. Electives (9 hours)
Note: No course may be counted twice in calculating the 36 hours. No more than 6 hours at the 1000 level can count toward the interdisciplinary major (except for History, where all courses above 1600 count). Students seeking a second major may count a maximum of 6 hours of course work toward meeting requirements in both majors.
*Effective Fall 2015, Vanderbilt University has introduced a new course catalog numbering scheme. For assistance with the translation between old (3-digit) and new (4-digit) numbers, please consult the Course Renumbering Lookup Tool.
To declare your major, please see this form.
1. Core Requirements (6 hours)
- American Studies 4000, The American Studies Workshop (3 hours)
- American Studies 4960, Senior Project (3 hours)
2. International Requirement (3 hours)
One of the following:
A) A semester abroad in a Vanderbilt-approved study abroad program and an additional 3-hour elective
B) American Studies 3200, Global Perspectives on the U.S. (3 hours)
C) One of the following:
- Anthropology: 3161, Colonial Encounters in the Americas.
- Asian Studies: 2560, Current Japan-U.S. Relations.
- Economics: 4520W, Seminar on Globalization.
- English: 3674, Caribbean Literature; 3898, 3898W, Special Topics in English and American Literature.
- History: 1370, Colonial Latin America; 1380, Independence in Latin America; 2450, Reform, Crisis, and Independence in Latin America, 1700–1820; 2460, Colonial Mexico; 2470, Revolutionary Mexico; 2480, Central America; 2510, Reform and Revolution in Latin America; 2535, Latin America and the United States; 2570, Caribbean History, 1492–1983; 2700, The U.S. and the World; 2710, The U.S. as a World Power; 3890, Selected Topics in History.
- Interdisciplinary Studies: 3831, Global Citizenship and Service; 3832, Global Community Service; 3833, Seminar in Global Citizenship and Service.
- Jewish Studies: 2450, The Jewish Diaspora.
- Latin American Studies: 2201, Introduction to Latin America; 2301, Music of Protest and Social Change in Latin America; 3891, Special Topics in Latin American Studies.
- Political Science: 3217, Latin American Politics; 2219, Politics of Mexico; 2225, International Political Economy; 3228, International Politics of Latin America; 2236, The Politics of Global Inequality.
- Religious Studies: 4551, Islamic Mysticism.
- Sociology: 3231, Contemporary Latin America; 3232, Contemporary Mexican Society.
- Spanish: 3370, Spanish American Civilization; 3375, Film and Culture in Latin America; 4740, Spanish-American Literature of the Boom Era; 4741, Spanish-American Literature of the Post-Boom Era.
3. Distribution Requirements (18 hours)
6 hours from at least two different departments or programs in each of the following three areas:
A) Humanities: Classical Studies, Communication Studies, English, History of Art, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, Theatre.
B) Social Sciences: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology.
C) Interdisciplinary Programs: African American and Diaspora Studies; American Studies; Cinema and Media Arts; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Jewish Studies; Latin American Studies; Medicine, Health, and Society; Women’s and Gender Studies.
Note: See below for a list of approved courses in each of these areas.
4. Electives (9 hours)
Three courses taken from the approved list of courses. Students should choose these courses in consultation with their adviser to form a study of concentration.Note: 1111 in all departments receives credit when an American topic is offered. Special topic and independent study courses must be on an American topic, as approved by the director of American Studies.
Approved List of Courses
AREA A: HUMANITIES
ART: 1099, Maymester Contemporary Art Blitz (when U.S. city/art).
CLASSICAL STUDIES: 3000, Classical Tradition in America.
COMMUNICATION STUDIES: 2800, Rhetoric and Civic Life; 3000, Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1640–1865; 3001, Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1865 to 1945; 3100, Rhetoric of Social Movements; 3002, Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1945–Present; 3110, Women, Rhetoric, and Social Change; 3720, Communicating Gender; 2950, Rhetoric of Mass Media; 3700, Politics and Mass Media; 3890, Selected Topics in Communication Studies; 4940–4941, Seminars in Selected Topics.
ENGLISH: 2316, 2316W, Representative American Writers; 2320, Southern Literature; 3624W, Literature of the American Civil War; 3710–3711, Literature and Intellectual History (when an American topic is offered); 3644–3645, Twentieth-Century American Novel; 3640, Modern British and American Poetry: Yeats to Auden; 3644.01, 20th Century American Novel; 3646, Poetry since World War II; 3622, Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers; 3654, 3654W, African American Literature; 3642, Film and Modernism; 3620, Nineteenth-Century American Literature; 3692, Desire in America: Literature, Cinema, and History; 3694, America on Film: Art and Ideology; 3695, America on Film: Performance and Culture; 3899, Special Topics in Film; 3674, Caribbean Literature; 3890, 3890W, Movements in Literature (when an American topic is offered); 3892, 3892W, Problems in Literature (when an American topic is offered); 3894, 3894W, Major Figures in Literature; 3658, Latino-American Literature; 3662, 3662W, Asian American Literature; 3650, 3650W, Ethnic American Literature; 3746, Workshop in English and History; 3644, Jewish American Literature; 3680–3681, Twentieth-Century Drama; 3896, Special Topics in Investigative Writing in America; 3898, 3898W, Special Topics in English and American Literature (when an American topic is offered).
HISTORY OF ART: 1400, US Icons and Monuments; 2720, Modern Architecture; 3735, History of Photography; 2660, American Art to 1865; 2760, Early American Modernism, 1865–1945; 2765, Art since 1945; 4960, Advanced Seminar (when an American topic is offered).
MUSIC LITERATURE AND HISTORY: 1610, Musical Theatre in America: A Cultural History; 2600, American Music; 1620, Survey of Jazz; 1600, American Popular Music; 1630, The Blues; 1640, Country Music; 1650, History of Rock Music; 2150, Music, Identity, and Diversity; 2610, Music of the South; 2320, Exploring the Film Soundtrack.
OTHER MUSIC COURSES: 1300, Music and the Fall of Segregation.
PHILOSOPHY: 1111.19, Race in US Democracy; 2110, Contemporary Philosophy; 3008, American Philosophy; 2104, Nineteenth-Century Philosophy; 3603, Philosophy of Education; 3623, Modern Philosophies of Law; 9010.01, W.E.B. DuBois.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES: 1100, Introduction to African American Religious Traditions; 1190W, Introduction to Southern Religion and Culture; 3304W, Evangelical Protestantism and the Culture Wars; 3119, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Social Roles of Religion; 3142, Slave Thought and Culture in the American South.
SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE: 3375, Film and Culture in Latin America; 3835, Latino Immigration Experience; 4425, Spanish American Literature from 1900-Present; 4750, Afro-Hispanic Literature.
THEATRE: 1811, Marshals, Mobsters, Monsters, Magnums, and Musicals: American Movie Genres; 2204, Histories of Theatre and Drama III: The U.S. Stage.
AREA B: SOCIAL SCIENCES
ANTHROPOLOGY: 2105, Race in the Americas.
ECONOMICS: 2100, Labor Economics; 2150, Economic History of the United States; 2890, Special Topics; 3100, Wages, Employment, and Labor Markets; 3150, Topics in the Economic History of the U.S.
HISTORY: 1111, Underground Railroad; 1111.2, Potsdam to Vietnam; 1390, America to 1776: Discovery to Revolution; 1400, U.S. 1776–1877: Revolution to Civil War and Reconstruction; 1410, U.S. 1877–1945: Reconstruction through World War II; 1420, U.S. Post-1945: Cold War to the Present; 1425W, Body, Mind, and Soul: Elvis, Dylan, and Springsteen; 1440, African American History since 1877; 1650, The Foreign Expansion of American Banking; 1660, American Enterprise; 1690, Sea Power in History; 1730, The U.S. and the Cold War; 1740, The U.S. and the Vietnam War; 2840, Sexuality and Gender in the Western Tradition since 1700; 3010, Pornography and Prostitution in History; 250, Gender and Women in Colonial America; 2535, Latin America and the United States; 2540, Race and Nation in Latin America;2570, Caribbean History; 2580, American Indian History before 1850; 2590, American Indian History since 1850; 2610, The Founding Generation; 2620, The Old South; 2630, The New South; 2640, Appalachia; 2685, Race and American Visual Culture; 2690, The Civil Rights Movement; 2700, The U.S. and the World; 2710, The U.S. as a World Power; 2721, Globalizing American History, 1877–1929; 2730, American Masculinities; 2740, Immigration, the United States and the World; 2750, American Intellectual History since 1865; 2800, Modern Medicine; 2810, Women, Health, and Sexuality; 3040, Health and the African American Experience; 3080, U.S. and Caribbean Encounters; 3140, History of New Orleans; 3160, Immigration, Race, and Nationality: The American Experience; 3170, The Federalist Papers; 3250W, Blacks and Money; 3746, Workshop in English and History; 3890, Selected Topics in History (when an American topic is offered); 4960, Majors Seminar (when an American topic is offered); 6400, Reading American History to the Civil War; 8733, African American Methodism.
POLITICAL SCIENCE: 1100, Introduction to American Government and Politics; 1150, U.S. Elections; 2222, American Foreign Policy; 2240, Political Parties; 3241, American Public Opinion and Voting Behavior; 2243, Political Campaigns and the Electoral Process; 3244, The Legislative Process; 2245, The American Presidency; 3247, American Political Culture; 3249, American Political Thought; 3250, Group Conflict and Cooperation in U.S. Politics; 2255, Public Policy Problems; 3260, Introduction to American Law; 2262, The Judicial Process; 2263, Religion and Politics; 2265, Constitutional Law: Powers and Structures of Government; 2266, Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Rights; 3272W, The War in Iraq, 2003–2011; 3891, Topics in Contemporary Politics; 3893, Selected Topics of American Government; 3897, Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).
SOCIOLOGY: 3601, Self, Society, and Social Change; 3602, Change and Social Movements in the Sixties; 3204, Tourism, Culture, and Place; 3611, Women and the Law; 3603, Women and Social Activism; 3201, Cultural Consumption and Audiences; 3221, The Family; 3621, Criminology; 3622, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice; 3624, Prison Life; 3233, Contemporary American Society; 3301, Society and Medicine; 3222, Sociology of Religion; 3207, Popular Culture Dynamics; 3604, American Social Movements; 3722, Gender in Society; 3616, Women and Public Policy in America; 3223, Schools and Society: The Sociology of Education; 3224W, Sociology though Baseball; 3702, Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States; 3704, Race, Gender, and Sport; 3724, Gender Identities, Interactions, and Relationships; 3322, Immigration in America; 4961, Seminars in Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).
AREA C: INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS
AFRICAN AMERICAN AND DIASPORA STUDIES: 1010, Introduction to African American and Diaspora Studies; 1016, Race Matters; 3206, Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem in Black Detective Fiction; 3104W, Soul Food as Text in Text: An Examination of African American Foodways; 3214, Black Masculinity: Social Imagery and Public Policy; 3258, Black Issues in Education.
AMERICAN STUDIES: 1002, 1002W, Introduction to American Studies; 1111, First-Year Writing Seminar; 1200, Introduction to Southern Studies; 3200, Global Perspectives on the U.S.; 3890, Topics in American Studies; 3881, Internship Readings and Research; 3851, Independent Readings and Research; 3852, Independent Readings and Research; 4000, The American Studies Workshop; 4100, Undergraduate Seminar in American Studies; 4960, Senior Project; 4998, Senior Honors Research; 4999, Senior Honors Thesis.
Cinema and Media Arts: 1600, Introduction to Film and Media Studies.
JEWISH STUDIES: 2280/2280W, Jewish Humor; 2420W, American Jewish Music; 2400, American Jewish Life; 2560, Social Movements in Modern Jewish Life; 3830, Contemporary Jewish Issues.
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES: 2601, Latin America, Latinos, and the United States.
MEDICINE, HEALTH, AND SOCIETY: 1930, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society; 2250, War and the Body; 2410, HIV/AIDS in the Global Community; 3020, U.S. Public Health Ethics and Policy; 3040, Designing Healthy Publics; 3150, Death and Dying in America; 238, Pharmaceuticals, Politics, and Culture; 3890, Special Topics.
WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES: 1940, HIV/AIDS in the Global Community; 2243, Sociologies of Men and Masculinity; 3246W, Women’s Rights, Women’s Wrongs; 2248, Humor and Cultural Critique in Fannie Flagg’s Novels; 2249, Women and Humor in the Age of Television; 3250/3250W, Contemporary Women’s Movements; 2259/2259W, Reading and Writing Lives; 2268, Gender, Race, Justice, and the Environment; 3271, Feminist Legal Theory; 3891, Special Topics: Topics in Gender, Culture, and Representation; 3893, Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).