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American Studies Concentration

Division of Communication Studies, Fine Arts and Literature

Explore this growing international academic field. Study American culture from a variety of perspectives – literature, art, culture, history, folklore and much more.

Consists of 12 credit hours from the following courses:

Introduces students to the elements of American culture in the interdisciplinary manner of American studies. After gaining an understanding of the academic field itself students explore the variety of ways to consider American culture including methodological and genre-based approaches. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110 General education global dynamics Writing Intensive

Unit(s): 3
 

Arts and Literature

Choose one course from the following:

Critical study of the visual arts of the last 100 years with emphasis on understanding the implications of the concepts we know as modernism and postmodernism. Prerequisites PDP 150 or 350 ENG 110 General Education fine arts & music Writing intensive

Unit(s): 3

Explores the role played by traditional American culture including music narrative medicine vernacular architecture and folk art and craft. Much of the course will concentrate on the folk culture of the Shenandoah Valley. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110 General Education world cultures Alternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3
 
Study of the literature and culture of the southern United States from the 19th century to the present. Explores the cultural development of the region and the influence of the historical context including slavery reconstruction economic depression and the Civil Rights movement. Writers studied may include Mark Twain William Faulkner Eudora Welty Zora Neale Hurston James Dickey Flannery OConnor Walker Percy Alice Walker Cormac McCarthy and Larry Brown. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110 General Education Literature Writing Intensive Alternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3
 
George Orwell is a major figure in the English-speaking world because of his influence on awareness of how language is used as well as his recognized achievements in nonfiction and fiction. His work is an appropriate subject of study for English majors in either the Literature Track or the Writing Track and many students have made their first acquaintance with his dystopian novels before coming to college. 1984 has been selected as a text in several sections of PDP 150 and ENG 101 and students may be interested in reading more of Orwells work to fulfill a general education requirement. Therefore a more extended study of his works in warranted in the seminar class. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110 General Education Literature Writing Intensive

Unit(s): 3

Explores the development of American literature from the Colonial period up through late 19th century American Realism (ENG 401). Transcendentalism Realism and Naturalism are examined. Sequence continues from the Modernist period to the present (ENG 402). Examines imagist poetry existentialism confessional poetry postmodernism the Beat movement metafiction and various multicultural perspectives. Prerequisite ENG 200 or permission of instructor Does not satisfy the General Education Literature requirement

Unit(s): 3

Explores the development of American literature from the Colonial period up through late 19th century American Realism (ENG 401). Transcendentalism Realism and Naturalism are examined. Sequence continues from the Modernist period to the present (ENG 402). Examines imagist poetry existentialism confessional poetry postmodernism the Beat movement metafiction and various multicultural perspectives. Prerequisite ENG 200 or permission of instructor Does not satisfy the General Education Literature requirement

Unit(s): 3

American musical life from colonial times to the present. Samplings include music following both the European classical tradition (operatic choral symphonic etc.) and Americas popular tradition (ragtime jazz rock etc.). Specific topics in the general areas are treated in detail by individual research. Corequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350 FILA general education fine arts and music

Unit(s): 3

Designed to increase the appreciation and enjoyment of jazz. The history and techniques of American jazz will be examined by lecture demonstration and recordings. Differences in the music elements of the major jazz styles will be highlighted. Corequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350 FILA general education fine arts and music

Unit(s): 3
 
An introduction to the history and influence of communication technology in society. The class will explore the various social political cultural and economic impacts of new communication technology. Major topics include the origins of writing printing photography film the telegraph and telephone radio television and the internet. 2016 Summer Session II offered as an online course

Unit(s): 3

Multiculturalism, Ethnicity, Class and Gender

Choose one course from the following:

Introduces students to the concept of folk groups and the ways they have been represented to mainstream cultures through the media of film and literature. Explores literature in conjunction with viewing of film and television depictions of the folk as well as documentary films made by folklorists. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110 General Education global dynamics Alternate years offered 2016-2017

Unit(s): 3

Anthropological survey of Native North American and Meso-American cultures examining features such as traditional subsistence patterns kinship structures religious beliefs and practices social and political structures artistic expression and intellectual history. Focuses on the literary heritage of Native American cultures beginning with the oral tradition and storytelling and continuing on to the Native American Renaissance the proliferation of Native American authors and poets that began in the 1960s and continues to the present. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110 General Education world cultures Alternate years offered 2016-2017

Unit(s): 3
 
Selected readings in the fiction drama poetry and non-fiction prose of major black writers both African and African-American. Influential authors may include Douglass Wright Ellison Achebe Baldwin and Morrison. Prerequisites ENG 110 General Education Literature

Unit(s): 3

Examines the history of American Indians from pre-contact civilizations and cultures to the present. It demonstrates the diversity of individual tribal national and pan-Indian experiences in the context of culture society religion economics politics and law. Students investigate a variety of sources including scholarly and popular non-fictional and fictional writings images songs and films. Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 General Education global dynamics Alternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3
 
The nature of racial relations and inequalities in American society including their historical origins and relationship to Western capitalist development. The ethnic composition of contemporary American society impact of legal and illegal immigration patterns dynamics of modern structures and institutions the Civil Rights Movement inter-ethnic conflicts and attitudes multiculturalism and status of affirmative action are analyzed in the context of national and global social change. Prerequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350 and SOC 101 General education global dynamics

Unit(s): 3
 

History and Culture

Choose one course from the following:

Traces the growth and development of the U.S. economy and economic institutions from the Colonial era to the present with special emphasis on key institutions and events such as slavery industrialization the rise of big business and the Great Depression. Prerequisites ECON 200 or 210 General Education 2014 global dynamics

Unit(s): 3

Studies a range of autobiographical writings in the context of America culture focusing on individual lives as they intersect with U.S. social history and lived experience. Readings and other source materials vary. Prerequisite ENG 110

Unit(s): 3

The United States from settlement to Reconstruction. Major themes include the development of a new society evolution of democratic behavior and the growth of sectionalism. Includes both social and political approaches.

Unit(s): 3
 
The United States from Reconstruction until the present. Major themes include industrialization and modernization the increased role of government greater U. S. involvement in international affairs and the impact of these changes on society. A continuation of HIST 201.

Unit(s): 3
 
Survey of American religious history with a focus on origins and diversity. Major topics include Puritanism Revivalism Mormonism Methodism African-American religion fundamentalism Catholicism and Judaism and religion during the cold war. Alternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3
 
Survey of the former slaveholding states. Focuses on slavery and slavery politics race relations and distinctive characteristics of Southern Society. Alternate years offered 2016-2017

Unit(s): 3

Introduces students to techniques for examination of objects and artifacts through the study of important texts hands-on experience on-site visits to museums buildings and cultural landscapes. Topics include vernacular architecture cultural geography popular design technology folk life and archaeology. Prerequisite SOC 101

Unit(s): 3

Any ENG course numbered 325–400W will satisfy the general education literature requirement.

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Questions? Contact us!

Dr. Scott Suter, Department Chair
540-828-5772
ssuter@bridgewater.edu