American Culture Studies

Curriculum

Course Descriptions

Major Sequence

Minor Sequence

For students entering IWU in fall 2021 and beyond, American Culture Studies is no longer available as a major or minor.

All majors take foundation courses that introduce them to the field of American Culture Studies and its roots in literature, history, and, more recently, anthropology. In two requirements titled, respectively, “Social Structure and Institutions” and “Cultural Representations,” students are introduced to divergent methods for understanding and interpreting the American experience.

In their three-course concentration and senior seminar, American Culture Studies majors will have the opportunity to fashion their own unique program. Working closely with the Director of American Culture Studies and American Culture Studies faculty, students may focus their course work and senior research on a time period and study it from a number of disciplinary angles; or they may focus on a theme such as popular culture, ethnicity, gender, political culture, and so on.

The American Culture Studies program also recognizes that to be an American is to be a member of a culture of cultures, both within the geographic boundaries of the United States and across borders. In addition to the foundation courses in historical diversity and cultural anthropology, which provide students with a framework for thinking about the tremendous diversity in American life and culture, American Culture Studies offers a unique requirement titled “The Americas.” This requirement recognizes both the importance of internationalizing the study of the United States and the need for a deeper understanding of the complex relationships among African, European, and Native American cultures in the “New World.”

 

MAJOR SEQUENCE:

A minimum of 10 course units, with no more than three units taken in any one subject and a minimum of four at the 300-400 level. Courses that are not listed below but are appropriate and available may be considered for inclusion.


1. American Culture Studies 150/History 150: Introduction to American Culture Studies (1 unit)
2. Interdisciplinary Foundations. This requirement introduces students to multiple cultural and social worlds within the U.S. (2 units from two different subjects):


American Culture Studies 270: Special Topics in American Studies
American Culture Studies 257/English 257/ History 257: Promised Lands:
A Literary and Cultural History of the Great Migration
Anthropology 171: Cultural Anthropology
Anthropology 270: Cultural Appropriation
English 139: Freaks!
English 170: The Sixties
English 170: (when appropriate and with permission)
English 252: Slavery in US Literature and Film
History 144: Gilded Age, 1865-1900
History 154: A History of Film, U.S.
History 170/270: (when appropriate and with permission)
History 242: Colonial America
History 244: Women and the American Experience
History 247: The American West
History 254: American Capitalism to 1900
Philosophy 170/270: (when appropriate and with permission)
Philosophy 230: Philosophy of Feminism
Philosophy 232: Philosophy of Race
Political Science 104: Multiculturalism and Its Critics
Political Science170/270: (when appropriate and with permission)
Religion 170/270: (when appropriate and with permission)
Sociology 101: Introductory Sociology
Sociology 222: Sex and Gender in Society
Sociology 230: Race and Racism
Sociology 250: Media and Popular Culture
Sociology 270: (when appropriate and with permission)


3. Migration, Transnationalism, and Globalization. This requirement encourages students to explore the fluidity of social and cultural practices across borders and over time. (2 units from two different subjects, at least one at the 300-level):


American Studies 398: American Culture Studies Seminar (when
appropriate)
Antropology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Anthropology 360: Race, Racism, and Anthropology
American Culture Studies 257/English 257/ History 257: Promised Lands: A Literary and Cultural History of the Great Migration
English 252: Slavery in US Literature and Film
English 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
English 351: Manifest Destinies
History 242: Colonial America
History 246: Irish Emigration
History 247: The American West
History 248: American Environmental History
History 254: American Capitalism to 1900
History 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission) History 343: Migration, Ethnicity, and Race
History 351: Modern America, 1900-1945
History 352: Recent U.S.
Philosophy 270/370 (when appropriate and with permission)
Political Science 104: Multiculturalism and Its Critics
Political Science 204/304: Transnational Justice
Political Science 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Political Science 326: Globalization and Development
Political Science 345: International Political Economy
Political Science 360: Comparative Envionmental Politics
Political Science 361: Globalization and the Enviornment
Political Science 363: Global Response to Climate Change
Religion 291: Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion
Religion 304: Latin American Religions
Religion 307: Voodoo, Santeria, and Candomble
Religion 333: Islam from Mecca to Malcom X
Religion 337: Encountering Religious Diversity
Religion 341: Religious Tolerance and Pluralism
Religion 343: American Jewish Thought
Sociology 340: Social Movements and Politics in the U.S.
Spanish 307: Reading and Writing Culture (when appropriate and with permission)
Spanish 418: Spanish Literature (when appropriate and with permission)


4. Four units in one of the following concentrations, taken in at least two different subjects. Courses in the concentrations may solely focus on, integrate, or partially focus on African-American, Latinx, or Native-American experience. At least two units must be 300-level or above.

A. African-American Studies:


American Culture Studies 257/English 257/ History 257: Promised Lands: A Literary and Cultural History of the Great Migration
Anthropology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Anthropology 360: Race, Racism, and Anthropology
English 170/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
English 252: Slavery in US Literature and Film
English 255: Hip-Hop: A Literary Study
English 352: American Literature after 1865
English 370: Slavery and Fiction
History 144: Gilded Age, 1865-1900
History 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
History 242: Colonial America
History 244: Women and the American Experience
History 249: Growing Up in America
History 350: Women, Work, and Leisure, 1890-1930
Philosophy 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Philosophy 232: Philosophy of Race
Political Science 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Political Science 301: Studies in Political Culture: The American South and the Politics of Race.
Religion 170: African-American Religions
Religion 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Religion 204: Native American and African Religions
Religion 307: Voodoo, Santeria, and Candomble
Sociology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Sociology 230: Race and Racism
Sociology 340: Social Movements and Politics in the U.S.
Sociology 345: Intersectionality
Sociology 380: Sociology of Sexualities


B. Latinx Studies:


Anthropology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
English 111: Latinx Fiction, 1970-Present
English 170/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
History 160: Latin American History
History 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
History 343: Migration, Ethnicity, and Race
Philosophy 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Political Science 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Religion 304: Latin American Religions
Sociology 230: Race and Racism
Sociology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Sociology 345: Intersectionality
Spanish 230: Medical Spanish and Cultural Competency for Health Care
Spanish 240: Spanish for Social Justice
Spanish 307: Reading and Writing Culture (when appropriate)
Spanish 316: Latin American Culture and Civilization
Spanish 468: Topics in Latino/a Literature


C. Native-American Studies:


Anthropology 250: World Music
Anthropology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Anthropology 275: Anthropology of Theater, Performance, and Spectacle
Anthropology/ENST 276: Native Americans and the Enviornment
Anthropology 270/370: Museums and Community Engagement
Anthropology 270: Cultural Appropriation
English 170/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
English 351: Manifest Destinies: American Literature to 1865
English 354: Native-American Literature
History 144: The Gilded Age, 1865-1900
History 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
History 242: Colonial America
History 247: The American West
History 248/ENST 248: American Environmental History
History 343: Migration, Ethnicity, and Race
Philosophy 170/240/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Political Science 170/240/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Religion 104: Myth and Ritual
Religion History 170/270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)
Religion 204: Native American and African Religions
Sociology 270/370: (when appropriate and with permission)


5. Signature Experience: American Culture Studies 490 (1 unit)


Minor Sequence in American Culture Studies:


A minimum of 6 units, with no more than three courses taken in any one subject and a minimum of two at the 300-400 level:

  1. American Culture Studies 150/History 150: Introduction to American Culture Studies(1 unit)

  2. Interdisciplinary Foundations (1 unit from list)

  3. Migration, Transnationalism, and Globalization (1 unit from the list, 300-level)

  4. Three courses in one of the concentrations, taken in at least two different subjects, and one at the 300-level.