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Fall 2023 Courses

1002/1002W – Introduction to American Studies

Taught by Danyelle Valentine or Mario Rewers

An interdisciplinary approach to American culture, character, and life.

Eligible for AXLE: History and Culture of the United States


1111 – FYS: Beyond Your Head

Taught by Dana Nelson

“The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction” is a deep dive into Matthew B. Crawford’s book of the same title. Writing and in- and out-of-class activities will be engineered to help you mentally and kinetically explore his arguments. We’ll explore questions central to your college experience: the attentional commons, how to achieve a coherent self, embodied perception, attention and design, the hive mind, joint attention, the uses of conflict, the problems of self-sovereignty and the statistical self, tradition, and independence. You’ll leave with a sharpened agenda for your years at Vanderbilt!

Eligible for AXLE: First-Year Writing Seminar


2100 – Sports, Culture, and Society

Taught by Gabriel Torres Colón

Multifaceted role of sports in culture and society, past and present. Cross-cultural perspectives on U.S. sports and related practices.

Eligible for AXLE: Social and Behavioral Sciences and Immersion: Experiential


3890 01 – The Politics of Asylum: Borders, Citizenship, and Migration in the Americas Rationale

Taught by Jesus Ruiz

This course delves into the recent history of migration and asylum in the Americas. The Politics of Asylum will use examples such as the hostile treatment of Haitians across the Western Hemisphere and will ask why some migrants are treated some ways in one place and differently elsewhere? Such questions will drive this course and help Vanderbilt students learn about immigration, law, and asylum comparatively as a Global phenomenon that plays out in different ways across the Americas.

Eligible for AXLE: Social and Behavioral Sciences


3890 02 – Reading American Politics

Taught by Mario Rewers and James Sasser

Before the United States became famous for its poets and novelists, it was known for its essayists and pamphleteers; before Americans read Whitman and Faulkner in living rooms and libraries, they read Paine and Jefferson in coffee houses and salons. Today, political writing remains an important element of American culture, even though its methods have changed. Instead of pamphlets and tracts, candidate profiles and daily reporting dominate the media landscape. This seminar explores the cultural, economic, and social factors that shape modern American political writing. Focusing especially on the period since 1945, students will encounter classics of modern reportage, from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail to Game Change, while having the opportunity to produce written work in both academic and journalistic styles. Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to shift their perspective from reporter to campaigner by analyzing speeches, press releases, and blog posts. Considering political writing as both art, business, and public service, this class will help students better decipher political media by giving them an opportunity to think like political writers.

Eligible for AXLE: Social and Behavioral Sciences


4000 – Research Methods Workshop

Taught by Paul Stob

Interdisciplinary methods for qualitative research. Examines approaches to the study of culture, history, and aesthetic experience. Students will have an opportunity to apply methods through projects.

Eligible for AXLE: Humanities and the Creative Arts and Immersion: Culminating