American Studies Minor

American Studies focuses on the power and the mythology connected with the symbol of “America.” When people use the term “America” or “American,” they are often talking about something much more than the people, institutions, geography, culture, or history of the United States. They are talking (positively or negatively) about a symbol that may represent divine intervention in human affairs, or colonialist, imperialist, commercial oppression of others.

American Studies is an examination of the construction of what citizens of the United States and of the world think or mean when they speak of “America” or “American.” It takes as its focus an investigation of the meaning of “America” from the perspective of the peoples who consider themselves (or are considered by others to be) central, peripheral, or excluded by that term. Inclusive of but more than an area study, American Studies is by definition inter- and cross-disciplinary, and minors are required to take courses offered by a variety of departments.

The American Studies minor consists of five courses:

UNIV 229Introduction to American Studies (or approved replacement)1
Select four of the following: 14
Anthropology of Native North America
Economic History of Women in the United States
Higher Education in the United States
Early American Colonial Literature
Early American National Literature
American Romanticism 1800-1865
American Realism and Naturalism
Modern American Literature 1900-1950
Contemporary American Literature
Special Topics in American Literature
Studies in American Literary Genres
Studies-Selected American Authors
Introduction to African American Literature
Seminar in American Literature Topics
Seminar in Selected American Writers
Seminar in Early American Literature
Seminar in 19th-century American Literature
Seminar in Modern American Literature
Seminar in Contemporary American Literature
Seminar in African-American Literature
American Environmental History
Frontiers and Borderlands
Topics in American History
American Colonial History
African-Americans and the American Revolution
Antebellum America
American Civil War and Reconstruction
U.S. History: 1880s to 1930s
U.S. History from the 1940s to the Present
Twentieth-century African-American History: Eyes on the Prize
Topics in American Political and Economic History
Topics in American Intellectual History
Twentieth-century Afro-Caribbean and African-American Thought
Science and Technology in US
Medicine in the US
U.S. History to 1865
U.S. History since 1865
American Social History
African-American History
American Immigrants
American Politics
The American Congress
The American Presidency
American Judicial Politics
Race Ethnicity and American Politics
Twentieth-century American Legal Thought
Race and Ethnicity in American Legal Thought
American Foreign Policy
U.S. National Security Policy
U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East
Seminar in American Politics
Religion and Constitutional Law
Religion and American Politics
Topics in American Religion
American Culture and Society
Marriages and Families in the 21st Century
Remaking America: Latin American Immigration
Twentieth-century Afro-Caribbean and African-American Thought
Mating and Marrying in America
Inner Journey: Sam Shepard and American Theatre
Total Credits5

Or appropriate substitution approved by the program co-coordinator.

Minors may not take more than two courses in any one department, and may take no more than two at the 100 level.

Any changes or substitutions must be approved by one of the program’s coordinators.


Coordinator: John P. Enyeart