Skip to main content


Doing Immersion in American Studies

Because of the capstone project that is part of AMER 4960, AMER majors will automatically fulfill their immersion requirement. No separate immersion project is necessary. For more information, contact Professor Gabriel A. Torres Colón or Professor Paul Stob.

However, some students may want to complete a separate immersion project. If they do, the American Studies Program offers a variety of pathways for students seeking to complete their immersion requirement. Below, you will find several examples of immersion pathways, but this is not an exhaustive list.

We will consider immersion pathways related to questions of power and conflict, experience and identity, tradition and social change within and beyond the territorial borders of the United States and the Americas. Matters of class, race, region, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, law, migration, environment, technology, politics, and the arts are all possible topics for immersion pathways. Student may undertake projects at the local, subnational, national, and global levels, from in-depth investigation of Nashville communities to research on transnational nongovernmental organizations.

Students with ideas about an immersion pathway related to  and students should contact Dr. Gabriel A. Torres Colon ( to discuss any immersion ideas.

Examples of Immersion Pathways

Research: The Local and the Global

  • AMER 1002: Introduction to American Studies (3 credits)
  • AMER 4000:  Research Methods (3 credits)
  • AMER 3851/3852: Independent Readings and Research (1-3 credits)
  • Summer or one-semester research inquiry, supervised by a faculty member, using local resources—including the Vanderbilt campus and the city of Nashville—to examine and analyze regional, national, and global issues, from immigration and refugee policy to ecological change, and from social protest to media cultures.
  • Final Project:  Documentation of research findings, including a public presentation.

Civic & Professional:  The City Around Us

  • AMER 1002:  Introduction to American Studies (3 credits)
  • Topical course:  enrollment in an approved course on city planning, urban cultures/history, or gentrification (3 credits)
  • AMER 3880:  Internship Training (1-3 credits)
  • Final project:  An installation for the City Map project, housed on the program’s website:, along with a presentation to the program faculty, students, and staff on how the internship experience has shaped the student’s understanding of urban dynamics and Nashville itself.

International:  The U.S. in the World

  • AMER 3200:  Global Perspectives on the U.S. (3 credits)
  • Topical course:  one approved course offering preparation in the history, politics and/or culture of the host country or region of study (3 credits)
  • Study abroad experience
  • Final Project: A reflective essay examining the relationship—cultural, political, and economic—of the United States to the study abroad country/region.

Research: Advanced Topics in American Studies

  • AMER 3890/4100: Topics in American Studies/Undergraduate Seminar in American Studies (3 credits)
  • AMER 3851/3852: Independent Readings and Research (6 credits)
  • Final Project:  Documentation of research findings, including a public presentation.