• AMST-123 This is America (3)

    What is American Studies? In this fun introductory course, we explore and analyze various dimensions of American life and culture, using material drawn from everyday life, such as popular music, movies, TV shows, social media platforms, and novels. Paying close attention to our everyday lives can give us insight into America?s social, artistic, historical, cultural, economic, and/or political contexts. Through observing, reading, discussing, and writing, this class introduces students to the basics of American Studies?the study of American culture through multiple perspectives. Course content will change based on emerging topics in American life, such as ideas of success, happiness, or freedom; overcoming challenges; social media trends; and/or the role of democracy.

  • AMST-140 American Dialogues (3)

    This course investigates current issues in the media and examines their underlying connections to gender, race, and sexuality in American history. Topics covered may include: school shootings, bullying, urban education, locker room culture, gendered behavior codes, racial profiling, birth control, and media representation of sexuality. Texts include essays, films, television shows, songs, YouTube clips, and other media.

    Attributes: AMSS YLIB
  • AMST-210P P3 American Experience (3)

    The United States is premised on the ideals of democracy and equality, but the realities of the nation’s past show that the United States has sometimes fallen short of those ideals. In this course, we consider the ways that race, gender, and class have helped shape “the American experience.” We use fiction, film, autobiography, photography, and the mass media to explore these themes.

    Attributes: P3 YLIB
  • AMST-235 P2 Catholics in America (3)

    A history of the role that Roman Catholics played in the story of the United States (1492-present). The course will examine the religious perspectives which Roman Catholic explorers, immigrants, intellectuals, and the laity brought to a developing philosophy and social history in the New World. Cross-listed with REST 235.

    Attributes: AMHU P2 YLIB
  • AMST-237P P3 Social Protests (3)

    America has seen a rise in social protest movements on a host of issues. This course examines the theory and practice of resistance as they apply to three areas of identity: nation, race, and gender. We examine interlocking systems of power and investigate institutions that have historically oppressed the ?Other.? We read a range of texts (fiction, history, essays) on issues like the following: universality and difference, patriotism and nationalism, prison and torture, struggle and survival, hope and human spirit, language and culture, and writing and activism. Julia Alvarez calls fiction ?a way to travel through the human heart,? so we analyze how fiction creates space for us to re-imagine history and apply theory. Cross-listed with WGST 237P.

    Formerly titled: P3 Hope, Survival & Spirit

    Attributes: AMHU P3 WGST YLIB
  • AMST-270 Career Planning Seminar (1)

    This course is designed for American Studies majors and minors to help them better understand the unique features of the field of American Studies in order for them to more effectively make use of their major in their career of choice.

    Attributes: YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Major: American Studies, American Studies, American Studies; Excluding: -Major: American Studies, American Studies, American Studies
  • AMST-273P P5 American Social Justice (3)

    In this service-learning course, students identify genuine needs in Rochester area communities, and work to address these needs through service projects. In this discussion-based class, we examine social institutions and social change from a cultural studies perspective, including topics like site analysis, reflective writing, and working in unfamiliar communities. We put theory into practice, using an interdisciplinary approach to make meaningful contributions to social justice and/or social change.

    Attributes: AMSS P5 YLIB ZCIV
  • AMST-300D P1 Reading Amer Culture (3)

    In this course, students are introduced to methods for analyzing a wide range of primary source materials relevant to the study of American culture. In any given semester, students may examine issues related to the myth of the frontier, immigration, the politics of race and/or gender, popular culture; all of which are central topics in the field of American Studies. The materials examined in any given semester may include literature, photography, art, magazines, films, political documents, etc. Analytical skills are foregrounded over theoretical models. For American Studies majors, this course serves as preparation for more advanced study of American culture.

    Attributes: P1 YLIB
  • AMST-370 AMST: Discipline & Theory (3)

    In this course, students trace how the theoretical and methodological approaches to some of the key questions in American Studies have changed over the years, leading students to an understanding of both the contingency of knowledge and the complexity of the field. Students are asked to examine how other scholars have approached some of the material they encountered in AMST 300D, and students begin to enter into a dialogue with other practitioners of American Studies.

    Attributes: YLIB ZRES
    Pre-requisites: AMST-300D D-
  • AMST-470 Senior Research Seminar (3)

    This capstone course is a research-intensive seminar in which students will engage in research projects of their own choosing. The beginning of the semester includes exercises in research methodology and identification of appropriate research topics. The second half of the semester includes class presentations and research paper workshop exercises. Cross-listed with WGST 470.

    Attributes: WGST YLIB ZCAP ZRES
    Pre-requisites: AMST-370 D-
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Junior, Senior
  • AMST-475 Washington DC-Internship (6 TO 9)

    Washington Experience semester is offered through The Washington Center. Permission of the advisor, the department chair and TWC liaison (Dr. Monica Litzenberger) is required to register.

    Attributes: YLIB
    Pre-requisites: AMST-476 Y D-
  • AMST-476 Washington DC-Seminar (3 TO 6)

    Washington Experience semester is offered through The Washington Center. Permission of the advisor, the department chair and TWC liaison (Dr. Monica Litzenberger) is required to register.

    Attributes: YLIB
    Pre-requisites: AMST-477 Y D-
  • AMST-477 Washington DC-Forum (1 TO 3)

    Washington Experience semester is offered through The Washington Center. Permission of the advisor, the department chair and TWC liaison (Dr. Monica Litzenberger) is required to register.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • AMST-490 Internship (1 TO 3)

    These courses allow qualified students to gain work experience in a variety of settings related to their major. Internships are graded S/U and are applied as electives. Permission of the department chair is required to register.

    Attributes: YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Major: American Studies, American Studies -Class: Junior, Senior
  • AMST-496 Independent Study – AMST (.5 TO 3)

    This course is intended to allow upper-division majors to explore specific topics of special interest not covered in the regular American Studies curriculum. Working with a faculty advisor, the student prepares a written proposal that is submitted to the department chair for approval. Completion of the Independent Study/Tutorial Authorization form is required.

    Attributes: YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Major: American Studies, American Studies -Class: Junior, Senior
  • AMST-1001 American Identities (3)

    Course covers how the diverse identities of Americans are constructed, defined, and explained. Introduces a variety of methods and approaches that constitute the field of American Studies. Through a range of sources, including history, fiction, film, and music, It explores individual, family, community, class, gender, ethnic, and racial identities in relation to regional and national identities as they have been defined in the post-World War II era.

    Attributes: AMUS LC YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman -Attribute: New Core 20-21
  • AMST-1020 Seeing Segregation (3)

    Using digital archives, online mapping resources, scholarly readings, and classroom discussions, students will learn about structures of racial segregation in Rochester throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. In addition, students will come to understand that while each city?s history is unique, there are historical patterns of structural inequity that can be traced from place to place, allowing Rochester to shine a spotlight on wider, national trends.

    Attributes: LC YLIB ZCIV
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman; Excluding: -Attribute: New Core 20-21
  • AMST-1030 Refugees & Race in ROC (3)

    In this learning community, we will explore how refugee communities in Rochester are a meaningful part of our city. We will examine both global and local dimensions of the relocation process (including how identity characteristics, such as race and nationality, impact who can achieve refugee status), and the central role of cultural, historical, and environmental factors that contribute to flight from one?s home country and resettlement in America. The role of place in this process will also be examined, by interacting with refugee communities in Rochester (such as parts of the Maplewood community) and corresponding support services (e.g. Mary?s Place, Refugees Helping Refugees, Catholic Family Center). This class will practice civic engagement, as we develop cultural humility and cultural empathy and expand our understanding of meaningful citizenship.

    Attributes: LC YLIB ZCIV
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman -Attribute: New Core 20-21
  • AMST-1299 Research-based Writing (3)

    Students study and practice skills central to academic and professional research through the development of inquiry-based projects. In their projects, student assert, support, and integrate their own positions into scholarly conversation based in research. Students develop competency in the location, evaluation, analysis and documentation of sources that represent a range of different perspectives on important issues.

    Attributes: RW YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman, Sophomore -Attribute: New Core 20-21
  • AMST-2120 College Life is Civic Life (3)

    While it is not uncommon to hear people discuss college life as somehow divorced from “real life,” that perception of higher education is inaccurate. Colleges and universities are buffeted by the same forces – economic, political, cultural, climatological – that impact the rest of the world. College life is real life and if “real life” involves civic engagement, then it stands to reason that civic engagement can be a meaningful part of college life. In this course, we cover some history of students being civically engaged in the United States, particularly over the past fifty years or so. We scan the landscape of contemporary higher education and some of the social issues found pressing on college campuses across the country. Armed with a better understanding of the variety of campus issues being addressed in the contemporary United States, students have the opportunity to add their voices to the chorus of students seeking to make a meaningful impact on the world. Students work collaboratively to identify issues of importance and to find ways to move the needle on tough issues in the direction that they would like to see things changed.

    Attributes: AMSS CCE YLIB
  • AMST-2140 Immigration Stories (3)

    In this class, we explore immigration narratives, and we imagine walking in the footsteps of different immigrants over time: What does it mean to become a citizen? What is it like to live in America as an undocumented worker? Why do different groups want to come to America? What ties bind people to their homelands? We begin by examining the history of U.S. immigration policies; learning facts about the citizenship process; and discussing contemporary immigration issues (such as the ?Muslim ban? and border wall disputes). After becoming acquainted with facts, policies, and issues, we then examine personal meanings and interpretations of citizenship through autobiography, fiction, film, documentaries, and speakers (with a focus on 20th/21st century texts). Our discussions include close reading and primary source analysis, as well as broader examination of the literature in its historical and cultural contexts. You will facilitate a Book Club, write short essays, and practice communicating effectively with diverse audiences. By the end of the course, you should have clear knowledge of the broad history of U.S. immigration policy, understanding of what it takes to gain citizenship as an immigrant, and insight about who has been encouraged/prohibited over the course of U.S. history (and why).

    Attributes: CCE YLIB
    Restrictions: Excluding: -Class: Freshman
  • AMST-2150 Amer Public School Stories (3)

    This course explores American education in our local schools from a place-based perspective. Through stories, interviews, and research we will analyze education in Rochester as a way to understand the inextricable relationship between our communities, our schools, and our citizens. We will investigate how our county and our city came to be the way they are today – in terms of racial segregation, class inequity, graduation rates, and college-readiness – in order to better understand why inequities persist. We will ask questions like the following: ?What does the future of public education in Monroe County look like?? We will hear from community members, reflect on our own school stories, and complete a group project that addresses these questions.

    Attributes: CCE YLIB
  • AMST-2201 Photography and Amer Scene (3)

    This course introduces students to the potentials and challenges of using photography as a source of historical information. It begins with the assumption that much of our understanding of the past has been shaped by the images of the past that we’ve seen. (Think about your high school history books, for example.) The class then moves to an analysis of the ways that photographs have been used to represent and interpret the world. These two strands lead to the inherent contradictions of photographs being both “objective” records of the physical world and subjective expressions of individual photographers.

    Attributes: AMHU CIA YLIB
  • AMST-2203 America at the Movies (3)

    In this course, we study one or more major film genres (such as drama, sci-fi, action, horror, documentary, or LGBTQIA+ films/queer cinema) and engage with critical texts pertinent to that genre. Films are cultural artifacts, and Hollywood has a long history of being one of the centers of the global motion picture industry, giving it a position of power (rightly or wrongly) in shaping some cultural attitudes. We examine how films intersect with current events, government policies, and social trends, as well as how these films are produced and publicized. Films are studied in relationship to their cultural and historical context, their formal composition, and other theoretical and critical perspectives. Students learn some of the tools necessary for appreciating the depth and scope of creative expression found in the literary and visual arts. Students describe and interpret films through written arguments, with an additional opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through the creation of an original work of art.

    Attributes: CIA YLIB
    Restrictions: Excluding: -Class: Freshman
  • AMST-2230 Memoirs & Bookclubs (3)

    In this discussion-based class, we read four or five memoirs, you write both your own memoir and a research paper, and groups facilitate a Bookclub for each text. Memoir is creative nonfiction writing that shows us a glimpse into the life of another person. Unlike autobiography, it does not chronicle the span of a person?s life, but rather gives us insight into one experience?growing up in childhood poverty, being the Black son of a white mother, being the only Chinese American family in a small town, questioning one?s sexuality in high school, being a child of divorce, being a Mexican American border agent, and more! Memoirs can be a tool to help us understand American cultural history from the perspective of someone living in the moment. Note: Selected memoir topics change each semester.

    Attributes: CIA
    Restrictions: Excluding: -Class: Freshman
  • AMST-2310 Crime in Context (3)

    This course investigates how American laws have marked different categories of people (via race, gender/sex, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability status, etc.) and/or people?s bodies as illegal or criminal and examines how these categories impact the treatment of people from different identity groups (using historical examples, such as women/girls during the Salem witch trials and contemporary examples like Daniel Prude in Rochester, NY). We examine who has been labeled ?criminal? and what people or acts are considered ?crimes,? in order to develop a better understanding of how these notions are culturally bound and how they can change over time. We will investigate primary sources (novels, newspapers, documentaries, YouTube links) and secondary sources (books and articles) to understand fears, beliefs, and cultural myths about crime and punishment in America. We will consider questions like: Who gets to decide which people or what actions are legal? What used to be a crime, but is now legal? You will create a group project. You will write a research essay where you make links between American laws and policies and aspects of your own identities/communities, in order to better understand to what extent your own story has been impacted by U.S. law and policy.

    Attributes: DEI YLIB
  • AMST-2370 Race, Gender&Social Change (3)

    This course explores the history of race, gender, and social change in America, with different areas of focus in alternating years. Students examine historic (and current) injustices and inequalities that have led to changes in law and in culture, as well as simultaneously occurring movements by groups who oppose equal rights (e.g. Citizens’ Councils during the Civil Rights movement). We also explore common divisions that occur within movements (e.g. SNCC and SLCC). Part of successful peaceful social change involves being clear about one’s goals in the face of obstacles, practicing nonviolence, and avoiding burnout. How do activists create communities to support and to sustain each other? How can we achieve calmness and resilience in the face of human actions and government policies that inspire frustration and anger? In this polarized society, how do we (or can we) listen to opposing views with an open mind? How can we create change in our daily lives and/or on the national level? Students put theory into practice: reading about and practicing mindfulness; practicing Sustained Dialogue in weekly dialogues about race (on campus and in the country); and collaborating in small groups to create your own activist projects, informed by peaceful dialogue-to-action models. Possible focus areas include the following: Black feminisms(s), Black Lives Matter, Civil Rights movement, post-2017 protests, Black Women’s club movement, abolition movement, voting rights, whiteness.

    Attributes: AMUS DEI YLIB
  • AMST-2380 Myths/Truths Native Amer (3)

    This course is about some of the myths that non-Native people have about Native Americans, where those myths came from, and the effects of those myths on Native American sovereignty and dignity. Through class readings, films, news articles, and discussions, we work to dimantle some of those myths in order to allow for some of the truths of Native Americans – both historical and contemporary – to come to light.

    Attributes: AMHU DEI YLIB
  • AMST-2460 Feminist Dialogues (3)

    This course explores the historical foundations of American feminisms, discussing the evolution of feminist theories from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century, focusing on the four main American feminist movements (waves). We discuss the influences and contributions of the abolitionist movement on American feminisms. We read key first wave feminists (Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton) and learn about events such as the Seneca Falls women?s rights convention. We explore key second wave feminists (Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde) who brought visibility to problems of domesticity, compulsory heterosexuality, intersectionality, and marginalization of Black feminist concerns. We discuss diverse feminisms (Chicana, Indigenous, ?Third World,? radical lesbian) as well as connections between science, technology, militarism and feminism. We cover topics as diverse as sexuality, body image, disability, gender ambiguity, and sex work. We hear from third and fourth wave feminists, including today?s youth, who discuss where 21st century feminism is headed. We discuss how to put theory into practice through Sustained Dialogue, which includes “listening deeply to be changed by what you hear.”

    Attributes: ER YLIB
    Restrictions: Excluding: -Class: Freshman
  • AMST-3990 Adv Research-Based Writing (3)

    In this course, students will develop an inquiry-based project by conducting in-depth research using discipline-specific practices that result in transferable research and writing. Students will build on the critical thinking and writing competencies they have previously acquired to engage topics and ideas in the field. Students will formulate important questions or problems, identify and examine appropriate sources, and use evidence in order to substantiate their own claims. They will acknowledge and address alternative explanations in scholarly conversations and revise their work accordingly. Outcomes of the project will be communicated in both written and oral forms or on other media platforms.

    Attributes: AWC YLIB ZRES
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Junior, Senior -Attribute: New Core 20-21

American Studies

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