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COURSES

Suggested Order of Study

Freshmen
   


Fall Semester   
Intro to American Studies    3.0
Kyrgyz / Russian    3.0
Composition I    3.0
Computer Science    3.0
Social Sciences    3.0
Humanities    3.0
Total    18.0

Spring Semester
Survey of American Literature to 1865    3.0
Survey of American History to 1865    3.0
Critical Skills    3.0
Composition II    3.0
Kyrgyz / Russian    3.0
Natural Sciences    3.0
Total    18.0


Sophomores

Fall Semester   
Survey of American History 1865 to Present    3.0
Survey of American Literature 1865 to Present    3.0
Kyrgyz History or Culture    3.0
Mathematics    3.0
Social Sciences    3.0
Humanities    3.0
Total    18.0

Spring Semester
American Politics    3.0
American Society    3.0
Research Methods    3.0
Electives    9.0
Total    18.0

Juniors

Fall Semester   
Electives (in major)    9.0
Electives (in minor or listed in the Catalog)    9.0
Total    18.0

Spring Semester   
Electives (in major)    9.0
Electives (in minor or listed in the Catalog)    9.0
Total    18.0

Seniors

Fall Semester 
Senior Seminar    3.0
Electives in major    6.0
Electives (in minor or listed in the Catalog)    9.0
Total    18.0

Spring Semester
Senior Seminar    3.0
Electives    15.0
Total    18.0

 

Required Courses

 

 

AMS101 Introduction of American Studies
3 credits
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor

The course aims to provide a coherent and developing portrait of America, focusing mainly on its literature, culture and society. It also deals with some of the central themes and preoccupations of American life, such as popular culture, national identity, gender, religion and social stereotypes.

 

AMS 110, 211 Survey of American History I, II

6 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 101

This two-semester survey course covers the main people, events and trends in United States history from the 15th century to the present. The course goes into depth on a few lasting and influential aspects of U.S. history but essentially it provides a general overview. The first semester covers the years from Columbus to the end of the Civil War (1865); the second semester begins with Civil War Reconstruction and continues through the present.

 

AMS 120 American Politics
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS/ICP 226

This course is intended to provide a survey of American government: how the system works and why it works in the ways it does. It will examine the political and cultural assumptions that underlie the American system. It will also attempt to examine not only the proclaimed structure of American government but also the ways in which those proclamations might differ from reality.

 

AMS 140 Survey of American Literature I
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 101

This course focuses on selected major American writers from the pre-colonial period to the end of the 19th century. Students will acquire some understanding of the characteristics of American writing: its styles, subjects, perspectives and attitudes.

 

AMS 241 Survey of American Literature II
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 140

The second part of a two-semester survey of American literature covers the period from the beginning to the late 20th century. The course will continue to introduce students to selected works by major American writers.

 

AMS 260 American Society
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 101

This course studies diversity and pluralism in public institutions and society of the U.S.A. It is partially about understanding people from diverse backgrounds, partially about discrimination issues and laws in the U.S.A., and partially about understanding ourselves and the education system in the U.S.A. It emphasizes issues of gender, gender orientation, race and color, ethnicity, national origin, age and disability. Issues of poverty, language and social class may also be examined in relation to the major areas of emphasis.

 

Elective Courses

 

The following is a description of elective courses offered by the department. However, because of teacher and resource availability, not all electives are offered each year or each semester. To learn about the availability and schedule of electives, please consult the department.

 

American Literature Track

American Studies 140 and 141 or the consent of the instructor is prerequisite to all American Studies courses in the American Literature Track, courses numbered _40 - _59.

 

AMS 142 World Literature
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

This course introduces students to important or “landmark” works of Western and Eastern literature up to the 18th century.

 

AMS 246 American Short Stories
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

As an introduction to the American short story, this course will examine representative examples of the genre from the 19th century to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the evolving American milieu.

 

AMS 249 The American Novel
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

The course contains the most important writings by such American writers as Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, Leslie Marmon Silko.

 

AMS 306 Survey of American Theatre
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

This survey course of American theatre includes Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and The Death of a Salesman, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh and A Long Day’s Journey into Night, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.

 

AMS 343 African-American Writers
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

Designed to develop the cognitive skills required to understand cross-cultural issues through recognition of the literary works created by African-American Writers in the 1920s.

 

AMS 344 Women’s Literature
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

This course examines how women from different cultures and social strata encounter many of the same issues and obstacles, and how the role of women changes from that of a sex object, a wife, a mother to that of a partner, and how women find self-identity in the male-dominated world.

 

AMS 346 An Introduction to Shakespeare
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

An intensive study of representative histories, comedies and tragedies by William Shakespeare, together with a consideration of certain major contemporary issues in Shakespeare criticism.

 

AMS 347 Survey of Native American Literature
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

The course is aimed at familiarizing students with major types and themes of stories and tales from American Indian oral literatures as well as with major works of Native American written literatures.

 

AMS 348 American and World Literature
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

This course covers a wide range of literature spanning the history of writing. The review includes the literature of many lands but concentrates on the literature of Central Asia, Russia and India.

 

AMS 350 American and British Poetry
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 141

In studying the American, British and Asian poetry, students will learn, about the thought and philosophy of these great poetic traditions.

 

AMS 411 Novels into Films
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

What makes one turn a novel/short story into a film? Why do directors return to literature for inspiration? How is this done? What kind of effect is achieved? How do films change the fate of the work of art they are based on? What importance does book to screen adaptations play in contemporary societies? These are the questions that will be covered in this course.

 

AMS 410.2 Women’s Literature: New Heroines
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

Women’s literature is often taught in the context of the best known, iconic works by female writers. However, recent fiction written by women has pushed the boundaries of women’s literature in a variety of different directions, gaining considerable attention of readers, as well as that of literary critics. New heroines, who are they? Whether they are housewives, murderers, fashion models, subjects of medical experiments, punk rock diarists, lovers, HIV+ middle aged secretaries, or visionaries, this course will discover a world of subversive female protagonists who have taken the literary world by storm.

 

AMS 445 American Drama
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 241

This course is for American Studies majors and for others interested in enjoying American drama. Playwrights to be read and orally interpreted include Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, Thornton Wilder and Tennessee Williams.

 

American Society Track

 

American Studies 160 or the consent of the instructor is prerequisite to all American Studies courses in the American Society track, courses numbered 60 - 79.

 

AMS 261 American Musical Culture
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This course is designed for those who are interested to learn more about the historical development of American music and the musical styles that were brought to America by her many immigrants throughout her history.

 

AMS 270 American Society: Social Problems
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

The aim of the course is to acquaint students with contemporary social problems and issues facing U.S. society and to encourage students to analyze some of the causes and implications of the most pressing social problems confronting people today. The problems covered include political power, militarism, environmental abuse, work, education, sexism, ageism, family–related problems, criminal behaviour, substance abuse and other problems.

 

AMS 307 American Fine Arts
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

The course is designed to study American art (concentrating on painting and to a lesser degree on sculpture and minimally on photography and architecture) throughout American history. The course demonstrates how American history and culture gave rise to and influenced American art and are reflected in American art. The course shows the connection between American art and European art and strives to teach the students to appreciate art on its own terms.

 

AMS 309 From History to Hollywood: Topics in Films
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This course examines how a movie is also a telling historical and social document. A historical inquiry of a mass medium like film not only distills many issues, but also reveals many subtle and often unexpected meanings. In this course, students are expected to watch, analyze and discuss documentary and feature films to sharpen their critical assessment of how individuals, cultures and events are depicted in films.

 

AMS 363 American Music History
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This course focuses primarily on how music simultaneously shaped and was shaped by the American cultural landscape. The social role and effects of music as well as its artistic merits are discussed. Styles of music covered include blues, country, jazz, western, gospel, rock and hip-hop.

 

AMS 365 Comparative Study of American and European Art of the 19th and 20th Centuries
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

The course is designed to explore and compare major trends in painting and sculpture in the USA and Western Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries including romanticism, neo- classicism, realism, symbolism, surrealism, expressionism, American Renaissance, regionalism, cubism, abstract expressionism, minimalism and pop art.

 

AMS 366 Contemporary American Issues
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

Exploration of a wide range of current political, social, and economic issues including the history of liberalism and conservatism; the labor movement and the distribution of wealth; immigration and ethnicity; the status of women and African Americans; changes in the South and the West; consumer culture; the federal government; foreign policy; religion; and American cultural and intellectual life.

 

AMS 367 Gender and Sexuality in America
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This course examines how gender (the roles various societies assign to men and women or what scholars call the “social construction” of masculinity and femininity) and ideas about sexuality (sexual behavior) have influenced selected issues and events in American History.

 

AMS 368 American Diversity—Asian Americans {ADA}
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This course looks into the cultural heritage of Asian Americans through study and discussions based on the literature and experiences of well-known writers and people of Asian America.

 

AMS 369 Interrogating Whiteness: From Identity to Imperialism
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This course attempts to bring that world view —its assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, and values—into focus so that it can be interrogated. Much of the meaning of a white racial identity is apparent only when it is measured against what it is not (for example, not black, not Indian or not Mexican). So the critical interrogation of whiteness necessarily involves an analysis of racial formation, racial/ethnic relations and class formation, which are vitally intertwined in the United States.

 

AMS 371 American Independent Cinema
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

American Independent Cinema has a long history. In this class, we will start with the Indie film’s roots in Exploitation and Avant-garde film, and then move on to consider New American directors like John Cassavetes; the rise of Sundance; punk and transgressive cinema; auteur television (e.g., “Twin Peaks”) and the advent of digital video.

 

AMS 472 Perspectives in American Studies: Minority Cultures and Histories of Resistance
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

This survey course is designed to introduce and familiarize students with different dimensions of identity construction in the United States. Through the study of critical essays, public addresses and feature films we will look at how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class are represented visually and discursively in America.

 

American History Track

 

American Studies 110 and 111 or the consent of the instructor are prerequisite to all American Studies courses in the American History track, or courses numbered _00 - _99.

 

AMS 305 America Mass Media
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 260

American mass media are closely connected with America’s history and penetrate deeply into all the spheres of American life. Media influence varies from direct informational aggression to intellectual stimulation and fighting for human rights. Media interact with every generation and make contacts with the whole world.

 

AMS 312 American Economic History
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

This course looks at the growth of the American economy from British colonies to its current status. Governmental policy as well as consumer trends through history are studied. Topics include trade as well as internal issues and political influences and effects of the U.S. economy.

 

AMS 317 History of American Photography
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

The history of photography as an art form is, to a large degree, the story of the American photographers who pioneered its development. This course traces the fascinating history of American photography from the earliest daguerreotypes to the present day. It focuses on the work both of established masters and unrecognized photographic talents, early and recent documentary, news photography and photojournalism.

 

AMS 318 20th Century Political History
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

This course surveys U.S. history of the 20th century. Major themes and events include the Progressive Era, Great Depression, New Deal, Age of Affluence and of Limits, Great Society and two Great Wars. The course focuses on political and social approaches to history. Special attention is given to the role of different presidents in the history of the country. The course also helps to develop students’ critical thinking and research skills. In addition to lectures there are discussions and students’ presentations.

 

AMS 320 American Pictorial History: Portraits of the Civil War
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

This course is not about Civil War per se. It’s about understanding a pictorial history of the American Civil War. It’s about watching and analyzing the nine episodes of Ken Burn’s documentary film, which uses century-old photographs and other important historical documents. It is about finding new issues and perspectives about Civil War in photography and photography in Civil War.

 

AMS 321 The Turbulent Sixties
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

This course is designed for students who are interested in developing a foundation of knowledge about the U.S.A. during the 1960s era. It focuses on social and cultural history of the United States from 1947-1967. The course examines a wide range of topics such as counterculture and hippies, the second-wave women’s movement, sexual revolution and rock music, psychedelic drugs and guerrilla theatre, and the gay and lesbian liberation movement.

 

American Government and Politics Track

 

Elective courses in American Government and Politics can also be selected from appropriate elective courses in International Comparative Politics, such as ICP 314, American Foreign Policy. Consult with the ICP department regarding prerequisites.

 

American Studies 120 or the consent of the instructor is prerequisite to all American Studies courses in the American Government and Politics track, or courses numbered _20 - _39.

 

AMS 322 Political Parties
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

Political parties play the crucial role in ruling a country. In order to be an active citizen and a political agent, a person should be aware of beliefs, principles, activities and functions of political parties. Even if a person is not a member of any political party, this knowledge helps him or her to make a right decision during elections. The course focuses on American political parties and their historical development and structure and activities with a general introduction to major political parties existing in the world.

 

AMS 419 U.S Foreign Relations History since 1898
3 credits
Prerequisite: AMS 211

The course is a study of the history of American foreign relations. It focuses largely on the historical contexts and framework of describing and analyzing the changes, approaches and interpretations of the process and development of American foreign relations. It also traces and analyzes primarily the acts, decisions, policies, problems, dilemmas, influences and impact of the conduct of U.S. foreign diplomacy.

 

CURRENTLY OFFERED COURSES

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