Courses may not be offered during every semester. To confirm course offerings for each semester, please use the Course Search.

American Studies focuses on interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship that crosses many boundaries within the IU School of Liberal Arts. Courses within this program cover religion and American culture, philanthropic studies, spatial humanities, and U.S. intellectual history and American philosophy.

AMST-A 101 Introduction to American Studies (3 cr.)

This course introduces the interdisciplinary methods of American Studies and how they enable better understanding of American cultures and ideas. Questions of race, ethnicity, nation, nationality, class, gender, sexuality, and religion are considered in relation to American identities and communities.

AMST-A 102 Asian-American Studies (3 cr.)

This course seeks to foster an understanding of issues related to race in general and to Asians Americans, in particular. Contributing to this understanding will be discussions of Asian American history, stereotypes, racism and oppression, refugees, racial identity development, and diversity within the Asian communities of the U.S. Discussions of the varied, lived experiences of Asians in the U.S. will be utilized to gain insights into how Asian Americans fit into the racial narrative of American culture.

AMST-A 103 Topics in American Studies (1-3 cr.)

Interdisciplinary consideration of various American Studies topics sometimes coordinated with symposia and/or conferences sponsored by the IUPUI Center for American Studies. A103 cannot be counted as credit toward an American Studies minor.

AMST-A 301 The Question of American Identity (3 cr.)

Is American culture unified or does it consist of a potpourri of more or less distinct cultures? Beginning with the 1600s but emphasizing the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this course explores classic texts in American culture, seeking to locate the terms of American unity in the midst of obvious diversity.

AMST-A 302 The Question of American Community (3 cr.)

What are the varieties and forms of American social life? This course will explore the manner in which Americans, from Puritan times through the later decades of the twentieth century, have structured and experienced social life in rural, urban, and suburban settings.

AMST-A 303 Topics in American Studies (1-3 cr.)

Interdisciplinary consideration of various American studies topics. Usually, but not always, coordinated with symposia and/or conferences sponsored by the IUPUI Program for American Studies.

AMST-A 341 Organizing for Social Action (3 cr.)

In this course, we will study the social movements of the past and meet the activists who are working for social justice today. We will learn about the history of American protest from pre-Revolutionary days to the present in order to understand how mass organizations are created and how they can be used to realize the American ideals of liberty, equality, justice, peace, and opportunity for all. Emphasis throughout is on bridging the academic perspective of the classroom with the practical concerns of different communities. This will be a traveling seminar, moving between the classroom and the world outside. Our class may meet at the site of a labor, senior, or other community organization, hosted by a representative of that organization. Other weeks, the organizers will come to us. Students have the option of participating in a service-learning project and reflecting on the connections between assigned readings and the practice of organizing. Our central question will be: what can the social-action organizations of the past and present teach us about the possibilities for progressive social change in our world today?

AMST-A 354 Literature of Rock ‘N Roll (3 cr.)

What constitutes the literature of rock music? Some would say that a three-paragraph review of the latest CD in Rolling Stone is the best and perhaps only an example. But what about the countless books, essays, articles, and other extended works that have been written about this music? How (and why?) is it possible, for example, to use rock music as the framework for a written discourse on American history (and in such discourse, suggest a logical, relevant connection between Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley?) How could an extended review of a rock ‘n’ roll album transform itself (logically and correctly) into first-rate political and social commentary? All of these questions and many more will be addressed in this course, as we explore the “written word of rock ‘n’ roll” in all its wonderfully complex and fascinating permutations.

AMST-A 355 Beat Generation (3 cr.)

Get hip and be cool with “The Beat Generation”. Explore a uniquely American literary and cultural movement that sought to defy societal rules in an explosive mixture of music, literature and art. Setting precedents the hippies of the 1960’s would later follow, the “Beats” were the original American rebels. Go “on the road” as you take a semester-length virtual road trip across America, a mind-expanding journey into emotion, sensation, music, art and the philosophy of experience. Dig it!

AMST-A 356 American Supernatural (3 cr.)

Belief in the supernatural has been an important component of American culture since the founding of the country. From the Salem Witch Trials to The Amityville Horror and from the stories of Edgar Allen Poe to the television series Lost, there seems to be no limit to Americans’ appetite for myths and legends that deal with the fantastic, otherworldly or otherwise unbelievable. This course will examine several aspects of this cultural fascination with the supernatural, from the mystery of “Area 51” to the legends of the delta blues singers. Along the way, we’ll examine larger questions, such as: Why is belief in the supernatural of continuing relevance to American culture? How does the popular and new media (especially the Internet) perpetuate this belief, and is there a danger in doing so? To what extent are the American character and its definition of identity shaped by the belief in the supernatural?

AMST-A 363 American Cyber Identity (3 cr.)

This course examines the blurred lines between not just the physical and virtual world, but our physical and virtual selfidentification. It considers challenging questions-and intriguing possibilities-about how we define ourselves when the physical, spatial and temporal limitations of “the real world” are lifted. It will look at the processes or strategies we use to define ourselves as we spend more time online by means of increasingly sophisticated technology, what level of importance are we giving to our sense of American selfidentity in the online world (from a historical, social and cultural perspective)? Is it possible to interpret the Constitution to help adjudicate virtual “property disputes”? Are the rights of avatars “self-evident”? And, when we “jack in” (to borrow a term from Gibson¿s Neuromancer) to the Internet, how much of our American history and culture do we take with us?

AMST-A 497 Overseas Study, Derby, UK (1-4 cr.)

Students participating in the exchange program with the University of Derby, UK, must register for sections of this course to receive credit for their work at the partner institution. The title of the course taken at Derby will appear on the student’s transcript under this course number. Consent of instructor required.

AMST-A 499 Senior Tutorial in American Studies (3 cr.)

This course provides students with the opportunity to pursue particular interests in American Studies on topics of their choices and to work in a tutorial relationship with an American Studies faculty member. In this course of directed study, students will be required to produce research projects for filing in the library.

AMST-A 601 Theories of Public Problem Solving (3 cr.)

This course examines theoretical approaches to the meaning of America by asking students to master theories in the field of American Studies, including: post-structuralism, queer studies, and post-colonialism as well as race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion. Students will apply them to a particular question or problem of academic interest.

AMST-A 602 American Studies in Practice (3 cr.)

P: AMST A601 The course examines case studies in three different contexts local (Indianapolis), national (Detroit), and international (Copenhagen) to illustrate different types of urban development. Students will combine American Studies theories with the practical methods derived from case studies to distinguish characteristics and conditions dependent on geographic and cultural differences.

AMST-B 497 Overseas Study, Newcastle, UK (1-5 cr.)

Students participating in the exchange program with the Newcastle University, UK, must register for sections of this course to receive credit for their work at the partner institution. The title of the course taken at Newcastle will appear on the student’s transcript under this course number. Consent of instructor required.

AMST-G 751 Seminar in American Studies (3-4 cr.)

Intensive study of specific topics in American culture and history with emphasis on developing skills in interdisciplinary research. These seminars will culminate in a 20+-page research paper. Topics and instructors will change each time the seminar is offered.

AMST-G 753 Independent Study (1-4 cr.)

Authorization required.

AMST-G 805 PhD Thesis (1-12 cr.)

Authorization required.

AMST-G 801 Doctoral Internship (1-6 cr.)

The doctoral internship required of this program places interns in non-profit, for-profit, and government agencies where they participate in the substantive work of an organization. The doctoral internship serves as a significant part of the research for student dissertations and therefore must be guided by the student’s research committee.


More Info

For specific courses offered in a specific semester see the Schedule of Classes at Student Central.

If you need additional information on the list of courses or the Ph.D. Program, please contact Dr. Raymond Haberski.