Fall 2010

Changing America

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-11


Carleen R. Basler (Section 01)
Sujani K. Reddy (Section 02)


This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies by exploring a central theme:  "change" in America.  Since its inception as a nation-state and an ideal, "America" has been open to contestation over its meaning and manner of belonging.  Who or what constitutes America?  How has that constitution changed over time, and what might that tell us about the possibilities for its future?  How does the field of American Studies offer particular methods that help us think through these changes, to think through the relationship between thought and action?  The course will outline a broad sweep of U.S. history while focusing on particular moments and/or examples to provide depth.  Topics may include, but not be limited to, immigration, U.S. imperialism, borders, civil rights, cultural production and material culture.  Throughout, we will pay particular attention to how American has been shaped by struggles for racial, ethnic, gender, class and sexual freedoms, focusing on how these have been situated within formal and informal social movements.  In addition, we will consider the shift within American Studies from an emphasis on American "exceptionalism" to a consideration of America's enduring social, political and cultural structures in a global, transnational framework.  We will draw course materials from a range of sources and perspectives, such as those found in popular culture, historical archives, critical race theory, film, music, sociology, critical legal studies, literature, visual culture and social and cultural history.l  In addition, as possible, the course will include guest speakers currently involved in the process of "changing America."

Limited to 20 students per section.  Fall semester.  Professors Basler and Reddy.

If Overenrolled: Would like 10 slots saved for first year students (five in each section). If overenrolled, giving priority to majors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010