This course aims to provide a "how to" of American Studies from an integrative, multiracial, and socio-cultural perspective. It also takes on the task of surveying the development of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field, while paying attention to the theoretical concerns and bodies of work that have influenced American Studies scholars over the last half century. Students will be exposed to and experiment with a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, gain a working competence in debates and approaches, and study a range of materials—visual, literary, print, digital, audio—via a traditionally interdisciplinary American Studies praxis. In the process they will develop rhetorical analyses, gather ethnographic data, and do close readings of assorted texts, spaces, and buildings. We will read the recent American Studies: A User's Guide by Philip J. Deloria and Alexander I. Olson, in addition to several model monographs that represent central issues in studies of American culture and history and will learn library research, archival research, and legal research skills. Students will complete a "work-in-progress" presentation as part of a public mini-conference, as well as an annotated bibliography, and a research prospectus.
Limited to 18 students. Open to juniors and seniors as a research seminar; or with consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Vigil.
If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to junior and senior American Studies majors, followed by students in Black Studies, History, and the Five Colleges certificate programs in Asian Pacific American Studies and Native American Studies.