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Catalog 2002-2003
American Studies (BA)
School of American and International Studies

Requirements of the Major
Convener: Carter Meyer
Advisors: Wayne Hayes
Thomas Heed
Stephen Rice
Sharon Rubin



About the Major

The American Studies major encourages exploration of the character of the United States as a unique multicultural mosaic functioning within an emerging global order. The program bridges many disciplines as it focuses on the various expressions of American society contained in its history, art, and literature. Through an analysis of its political and social development, students gain insights into the national dynamic; and through inquiry and debate of an ethical standard, students gain a perspective to evaluate the nation's actions and beliefs.

Students majoring in American Studies receive a solid grounding in American culture in history to better understand its evolution; in political structure to better recognize the forces and instruments of change; in literature to experience American society from varied perspectives; and in the pluralism of our society, with particular attention to race, gender, and ethnicity. Course clusters and sequences exist in women's studies, African American studies, international outlooks, and social pluralism. At the upper level, students encounter course work relating to each of the following themes: America's role in the world, American regionalism, American thought and values, American artistic expression. Inherent in the American Studies major is the recognition of the nation’s developing response to the challenges and opportunities of an ever-expanding global commitment. Each semester, visiting foreign scholars will alert us to the growing need for talented and trained "bridge" experts to facilitate the increasing array of relations between the U.S. and other nations.

It is apparent, therefore, that American Studies graduates, having gained appreciation and comprehension of the changing global context, will enjoy increasing career choices as the demand for Americanists grows. Additionally, the major's liberal arts emphasis on thinking, analyzing, evaluating, and communicating provides excellent preparation for both career entry and graduate study. American Studies graduates find employment in a wide variety of fields, including international business, education, communications, publishing, and historic preservation, as well as in museums and archives. Advanced degrees are most often pursued in law, business, museum studies and American studies.

The American Studies major leads to the B.A. degree, and is offered through the School of American and lnternational Studies.

A minor is not available.
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