Major in American Studies
The interdisciplinary major in American Studies consists of 36 hours of course work, distributed as follows:
- Core Requirements (6 hours)
- International Requirement (3 hours)
- Distribution Requirements (18 hours)
- Electives (9 hours)
Note: No course may be counted twice in calculating the 36 hours. No more than 6 hours at the 100 level can count toward the interdisciplinary major. An exception to this are History courses above 160, which count as 200-level courses. Students seeking a second major may count a maximum of 6 hours of course work toward meeting requirements in both majors.
1. Core Requirements (6 hours)
- American Studies 294, The American Studies Workshop (3 hours)
- American Studies 297, Senior Project (3 hours)
2. International Requirement: (3 hours)
ONE of the following:
- a semester abroad in a Vanderbilt-approved study abroad program and an additional 3-hour elective
- American Studies 202, “Global Perspectives on the U.S.” (3 hours)
- ONE of the following:
- Anthropology 231 Colonial Encounters in the Americas
- Asian Studies 240 Current Japan-U.S. Relations
- Economics 260W Seminar on Globalization
- English 271 Caribbean Literature
- English 288 Panama: Culture, Identity, History from the Inside Out
- History 137 Colonial Latin America
- History 138 Modern Latin America
- History 245 Decline of the Iberian Atlantic Empires, 1700–1820
- History 246 Colonial Mexico
- History 247 Modern Mexico
- History 248 Central America
- History 251 Reform and Revolution in Latin America
- History 253a Latin America and the United States
- History 257 Caribbean History, 1492-1983
- History 270 The U.S. and the World
- History 271 The U.S. as a World Power
- History 294 Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).
- Interdisciplinary Studies 270a Global Citizenship and Service
- Interdisciplinary Studies 270b Global Community Service
- Interdisciplinary Studies 270c Seminar in Global Citizenship and Service
- Jewish Studies 158 World Jewish Communities in the New Millennium
- Latin American Studies 201 Introduction to Latin American
- Latin American Studies 231 Music of Protest and Social Change in Latin America
- Latin American Studies 235 Gender, Ethnicity, and Language in The Americas
- Latin American Studies 294a Special Topics in Latin American Studies
- Political Science 217 Latin American Politics
- Political Science 219 Politics of Mexico
- Political Science 224 Theories of World Politics
- Political Science 225 International Political Economy
- Political Science 228 International Politics of Latin America
- Political Science 236 The Politics of Global Inequality
- Religious Studies 251 Islamic Mysticism
- Sociology 277 Contemporary Latin America
- Sociology 279 Contemporary Mexican Society
- Sociology 281 Development for a Small Planet
- Spanish 223 Spanish American Civilization
- Spanish 227 Film and Culture in Latin America
- Spanish 247 Spanish American Literature of the Boom Era
- Spanish 278 The U.S. in Latin American Literature
3. Distribution Requirements (18 hours)
6 hours from at least two different departments or programs in each of the following three areas.
- Humanities: Classical Studies, Communication Studies, English, History of Art, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, Theatre.
- Social Sciences: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology. (Note: History courses above 160 count as 200-level courses.)
- Interdisciplinary Programs: African-American and Diaspora Studies; American Studies; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Cinema and Media Arts; Jewish Studies; Latin American Studies; Medicine, Health, and Society; Women’s and Gender Studies. 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 advisor to form a study of concentration.
Note: 115F 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: 285, Maymester Contemporary Art Blitz (when U.S. city/art).
CLASSICAL STUDIES: 222, Classical Tradition in America.
COMMUNICATION STUDIES: 210, Rhetoric and Civic Life; 220, Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1640–1865; 221, Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1865 to 1945; 223, Values in Modern Communication; 224, Rhetoric of Social Movements; 225, Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1945–Present; 226, Women, Rhetoric, and Social Change; 235, Communicating Gender; 241, Rhetoric of Mass Media; 244, Politics and Mass Media; 294, Selected Topics in Communication Studies; 295–296, Seminars in Selected Topics.
ENGLISH: 211, 211W, Representative American Writers; 212, Southern Literature; 213W, Literature of the American Civil War; 214a–214b, Literature and Intellectual History (when an American topic is offered); 232a–232b, Twentieth-Century American Novel; 256, Modern British and American Poetry: Yeats to Auden; 258, Poetry since World War II; 260, Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers; 263, 263W, African American Literature; 265, Film and Modernism; 266, Nineteenth-Century American Literature; 267, Desire in America: Literature, Cinema, and History; 268a, America on Film: Art and Ideology; 268b, America on Film: Performance and Culture; 269, Special Topics in Film; 271, Caribbean Literature; 272, 272W, Movements in Literature (when an American topic is offered); 273, 273W, Problems in Literature (when an American topic is offered); 274, 274W, Major Figures in Literature; 275, Latino-American Literature; 277, 277W, Asian American Literature; 279, 279W, Ethnic American Literature; 280, Workshop in English and History; 283, Jewish American Literature; 286a–286b, Twentieth- Century Drama; 287, Special Topics in Investigative Writing in America; 288, 288W, Special Topics in English and American Literature (when an American topic is offered).
HISTORY OF ART: 233, Modern Architecture; 233, History of Photography; 240, American Art to 1865; 241, American Art 1865 to 1945; 242, Art since 1945; 295, Advanced Seminar in History of Art (when an American topic is offered).
MUSIC LITERATURE AND HISTORY: 103, Musical Theatre in America: A Cultural History; 147, American Music; 148, Survey of Jazz; 149, American Popular Music; 151, The Blues; 152, Country Music; 153, History of Rock Music; 154, Music and the Fall of Segregation; 261, Music, Identity, and Diversity; 262, Music of the South; 263, American Music and Society: The 1960s; 264, Exploring the Film Soundtrack.
PHILOSOPHY: 213, Contemporary Philosophy; 222, American Philosophy; 228, Nineteenth-Century Philosophy; 234, Philosophy of Education; 254, Modern Philosophies of Law.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES: 107, Introduction to African American Religious Traditions; 110W, Introduction to Southern Religion and Culture; 204W, Evangelical Protestantism and the Culture Wars; 219, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Social Roles of Religion; 242, Slave Thought and Culture in the American South.
SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE: 243, Latino Immigration Experience; 244, Afro-Hispanic Literature.
THEATRE: 171, Marshals, Mobsters, Monsters, Magnums, and Musicals: American Movie Genres; 204, Development of the American Theatre; 205, The American Musical.
AREA B: SOCIAL SCIENCES
ANTHROPOLOGY: 205, Race in the Americas; 214, Native North Americans; 229, North American Archaeology.
ECONOMICS: 212, Labor Economics; 226, Economic History of the United States; 249, Special Topics; 251, Wages, Employment, and Labor Markets; 266, Topics in the Economic History of the U.S.
HISTORY: 139, America to 1776: Discovery to Revolution; 140, U.S. 1776–1877: Revolution to Civil War and Reconstruction; 141, U.S. 1877– 1945: Reconstruction through World War II; 142, U.S. Post-1945: Cold War to the Present; 144, African American History since 1877; 165 The Foreign Expansion of American Banking; 166, American Enterprise; 169, Sea Power in History; 173, The U.S. and the Cold War; 174, The U.S. and the Vietnam War; 184, Sexuality and Gender in the Western Tradition since 1700; 187, Pornography and Prostitution in History; 250, Gender and Women in Colonial America; 253a, Latin America and the United States; 258, American Indian History before 1850; 259, American Indian History since 1850; 261, The Founding Generation; 262, The Old South; 263, The New South; 269, The Civil Rights Movement; 270, The U.S. and the World; 271, The U.S. as a World Power; 272a Globalizing American History; 272d American Masculinities; 275a, American Intellectual History since 1865; 280, Modern Medicine; 281, Women, Health, and Sexuality; 284b, Health and the African American Experience; 286a, Foundations of American Economic Development; 286b U.S. and Caribbean Encounter 287b, History of New Orleans; 287d, Immigration, Race, and Nationality: The American Experience; 287e, The Federalist Papers; 288W, Blacks and Money; 291, Workshop in English and History; 294, Selected Topics in History (when an American topic is offered); 295, Majors Seminar (when an American topic is offered).
POLITICAL SCIENCE: 100, Introduction to American Government and Politics; 150, U.S. Elections; 222, American Foreign Policy; 240, Political Parties; 241, American Public Opinion and Voting Behavior; 243, Political Campaigns and the Electoral Process; 244, The Legislative Process; 245, The American Presidency; 247, American Political Culture; 249, American Public Opinion and American Politics; 250, Group Conflict and Cooperation in U.S. Politics; 255, Public Policy Problems; 260, Introduction to American Law; 262, The Judicial Process; 263, Religion and Politics; 265, Constitutional Law: Powers and Structures of Government; 266, Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Rights; 281, Topics in Contemporary Politics; 283, Selected Topics of American Government; 287, Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).
SOCIOLOGY: 104, 104W, Men and Women in American Society; 204, Self, Society, and Social Change; 216, Change and Social Movements in the Sixties; 218, Tourism, Culture, and Place; 224, Women and the Law; 225, Women and Social Activism; 228, Cultural Consumption and Audiences; 230, The Family; 231, Criminology; 232, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice; 234, Prison Life; 235, Contemporary American Society; 237, Society and Medicine; 246, Sociology of Religion; 248, Popular Culture Dynamics; 249, American Social Movements; 250, Gender in Society; 251, Women and Public Policy in America; 254, Schools and Society: The Sociology of Education; 255, Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States; 272, Gender Identities, Interactions, and Relationships; 274, Immigration in America; 294, Seminars in Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).
AREA C: INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS
AFRICAN AMERICAN AND DIASPORA STUDIES: 101, Introduction to African American and Diaspora Studies; 110, Race Matters; 201, African American Family History; 202, Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem in Black Detective Fiction; 208, Soul Food as Text in Text: An Examination of African American Foodways; 210, Black Masculinity: Social Imagery and Public Policy; 215, Black Issues in Education; 221, History and Myth: Black Women in the United States; 265, Twentieth-Century African American Biography.
AMERICAN STUDIES: 100, 100W, Introduction to American Studies; 115F, First-Year Writing Seminar; 202, Global Perspectives on the U.S.; 240, Topics in American Studies; 280a, Internship, Research, and Reading; 289a–289b, Independent Readings and Research; 295, Undergraduate Seminar in American Studies; 297, Senior Project; 298, Senior Honors Research; 299, Senior Honors Thesis.
CINEMA AND MEDIA ARTS: 125, Introduction to the Study of Film; 288, Special Topics in Film (when an American topic is offered).
JEWISH STUDIES: 138/138W, Jewish Humor; 139/139W, American Jewish Music; 155, American Jewish Life; 252, Social Movements in Modern Jewish Life; 280, Contemporary Jewish Issues; 294, Special Topics.
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES: 260, Latin America, Latinos, and the United States.
MEDICINE, HEALTH, AND SOCIETY: 201, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society; 203, U.S. Public Health Ethics and Policy; 225, Death and Dying in America; 238 Pharmaceuticals, Politics and Culture; 290, Special Topics.
WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES: 243, Sociologies of Men and Masculinity; 246W, Women’s Rights, Women’s Wrongs; 248, Humor and Cultural Critique in Fannie Flagg’s Novels; 249, Women and Humor in the Age of Television; 250, 250W, Contemporary Women’s Movements; 259, 259W, Reading and Writing Lives; 268, Gender, Race, Justice, and the Environment; 271, Feminist Legal Theory; 294a, Special Topics: Topics in Gender, Culture, and Representation; 295, Selected Topics (when an American topic is offered).