Feb 07, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 
    
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

American Studies


Requirements for a Major in American Studies


The American Studies major combines interdisciplinary methods to study US culture in its regional, national, and global forms.

To declare an American Studies major, students must have completed at least one university-level (i.e. UVA or college transfer) course in American history or culture, broadly defined (including literature, music, religion, art, anthropology, etc.), with a grade of C or better. AP and IB courses do not satisfy this prerequisite. Students are encouraged to declare the major in their 2nd or 3rd year of study. Students interested in declaring should bring a College declaration form to the office hours of the American Studies Director of Undergraduate Programs or the Chair of American Studies (all hours are listed on the program website). The Director will assign an appropriate faculty advisor who will work with the student to complete a major declaration form. Declaration forms will be processed only in the Fall and Spring semesters.

The American Studies major requires a minimum of 10 courses (30 credits).

Distinguished Majors Program


The Distinguished Majors Program provides a selected group of exceptionally qualified students the opportunity to complete original and significant research on a specific area of interest. Selection for the DMP is a process that takes into account the student’s GPA, intellectual interests, and plans for study. The deadline for submitting application material is in the spring semester of the 3rd year; the exact date will shift slightly from year to year and will be posted on the department website.

In close consultation with a faculty advisor, DMP students will design a research topic for independent thesis work during their fourth year. These students must hold a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.4 to qualify for the DMP program and must maintain it to qualify for graduation with distinction. DMP students take an independent study in the fall of their fourth year with a faculty advisor. In the spring of their fourth year they must enroll in AMST 4999, the Distinguished Majors Thesis Seminar, with the DMP Director. Throughout the fourth year the DMP student will craft a critical argument, researching and writing on topics that engage in the study of American culture. DMP students demonstrate intellectual rigor and a strong work ethic. The end result is a substantive piece of scholarship, a thesis of approximately fifty pages in length. Please contact the American Studies Director or the Director of Undergraduate Programs for more information.

Course Distribution


Students must complete with a grade of C or better:

  • Credits: 3
  • Credits: 3
  • AMST 4000-level American Studies seminar, Credits: 3
  • 7 additional elective courses (Credits: 21), which must include:
  • 1 course on Historical Approaches, Credits: 3
  • 1 course on Race/Ethnicity, Credits: 3
  • 1 course on Transnational/Regional, Credits: 3
  •  

    Additional Rules:

     

    • At least 2 of the 7 electives must be AMST courses.
    • At least 3 of the 7 electives must be at the 3000-level or above.

    The undergraduate major in American Studies provides a rigorous and diverse program of study that offers students a generous amount of intellectual range and scholarly flexibility, while still remaining rooted in a shared and coherent curricular experience. Requirements for the major include two specific courses that all majors must take. The first of these is Introduction to American Studies (AMST 2001), a 3-credit introductory lecture course that introduces students to the field, its history, and a wide variety of potential areas of study. Students are strongly encouraged to take this course either prior to or soon after declaring the major (i.e. in first or second year), or in their third year if necessary. The second required course is Theories and Methods of American Studies (AMST 3001), a 3-credit, reading-and-writing-intensive course that allows students to more thoroughly explore past and present scholarly currents and an array of theoretical and methodological approaches within the field. Additionally, all majors must take a 3-credit, 4000-level AMST capstone seminar prior to graduating. The capstone course is generally intended to be taken in Fall or Spring of the fourth year.

     

    The remainder of the major requirements consist of seven electives (21 credits in total), at least two of which must be taken under the AMST course designation, and at least three of which must be taken at the 3000 level or higher. The first stipulation ensures that students will take at least five of their ten total courses within the Department, ensuring a consistent and coherent academic experience while still providing the flexibility for interdisciplinary exploration. The second stipulation also ensures that students are taking at least five of their ten required courses in an upper-level classroom context, ensuring a suitably rigorous and intensive academic experience. Furthermore, at least three of the seven electives (9 credits) must fulfill one each of the following area requirements (students may not use the same course to fulfill more than one area requirement):

     

    • Historical Approaches: These are courses that are rooted in a clearly-defined historical scope and that expose students to historical methodologies and/or archival research practices. This requirement assures that American Studies students will graduate with a firm command of the importance of historical context and a nuanced understanding of historical research and historiography.

     

    • Race and Ethnicity: These are courses that are rooted in questions, topics, and issues related to the fields of critical race and ethnic studies. This requirement assures that American Studies students will graduate with a keen understanding of the ways that ideas about racial and ethnic difference and struggles for recognition and equality have shaped the United States and the American hemisphere more broadly.

     

    • Transnational and Regional: These are courses that either deal with the United States’ position in relationship to international and global contexts and relations, or that deal with specific regions of the United States itself and the sets of political, social, and cultural concerns facing these regions. This requirement assures that students graduate with an understanding that the United States is far more complex, varied, and diffuse than a simple monolithic nation state, and that the borders of the nation are not the only delineation of “America.”  

     

    Sample Course List for Area Requirements:

     

    Historical Approaches:

     

    AMST 1050 – Slavery and Its Legacies

    AMST 2660 – Spirituality in America

    AMST 2753 – Arts and Cultures of the Slave South

    AMST 3221 – Hands-On Public History

    ENGL 3150 – American Renaissance

    ENGL 3430 – American Literature to 1865

    ENGL 4500 – W.E.B. Du Bois

    HIUS 2001 – American History to 1865

    HIUS 2002 – American History Since 1865

    HIUS 2052 – America and War Since 1900

    HIUS 2053 – American Slavery

    HIUS 3011 – The Colonial Period of American History

    HIUS 3031 – The Era of the American Revolution

    HIUS 3051 – The Age of Jefferson and Jackson, 1789-1845

    HIUS 3071 – The Coming of the Civil War

    HIUS 3072 – The Civil War and Reconstruction

    HIUS 3161 – Viewing America, 1940-1980

    HIUS 3162 – Digitizing America

    HIUS 3171 – US Since 1945: People, Politics, Power

    HIUS 3231 – The Rise and Fall of the Slave South

    HIUS 3281 – Virginia History to 1900

    HIUS 3471 – History of American Labor

    HIUS 3490 – From Motown to Hip-Hop

    HIUS 3641 – American Indian History

    HIUS 3651 – Afro-American History to 1865

    HIUS 3652 – Afro-American History Since 1865

    HIUS 3654 – Black Fire

    HIUS 3671 – History of the Civil Rights Movement

    HIUS 3853 – From Redlines to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in the U.S.

    MDST 3310 – Sound and Cinema

    MDST 3375 – History of Music and Broadcasting in the U.S.

    MDST 3903 – Media and Protest: The 1960s

    MUSI 2070 – Popular Musics

    MUSI 2120 – History of Jazz Music

    RELG 2160 – Religion in American Thought and Life from 1865 to the Present

    WGS 3612 – Gender and Sexuality in the United States, 1865-Present

     

    Race and Ethnicity:

     

    AMST 1050 – Slavery and Its Legacies

    AMST 2753 – Arts and Cultures of the Slave South

    AMST 3180 – Introduction to Asian American Studies

    AMST 3200 – African American Political Thought

    AMST 3321 – Race and Ethnicity in Latinx Literature

    AMST 3323 – Hemispheric Latinx Literature and Culture

    AMST 3407 – Racial Borders and American Cinema

    AMST 3470 – Cultures of Hip-Hop

    AMST 3641 – Native America

    AAS 1010 – Intro to African American Studies I

    AAS 1020 – Intro to African American Studies II

    AAS 2224 – Black Femininities and Masculinities in the US Media

    AAS 3810 – Race, Culture, and Inequality

    AAS 3853 - From Redlines to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in the U.S.

    ANTH 2250 – Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism

    DRAM 3070 – African American Theater

    ENGL 3140 – African-American Literature II

    ENGL 2572 – Black Writers in America

    ENGL 4500 – W.E.B. Du Bois

    ENGL 4500 – Black Queer Culture

    HIEU 2102 – Modern Jewish History

    HIUS 2053 – American Slavery

    HIUS 3641 – American Indian History

    HIUS 3651 – Afro-American History to 1865

    HIUS 3652 – Afro-American History Since 1865

    HIUS 3654 – Black Fire

    HIUS 3490 – From Motown to Hip-Hop

    HIUS 3853 – From Redlines to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in the U.S.

    MDST 3105 – Latino/a Media Studies

    MDST 3760 - #BlackTwitter and Black Digital Culture

    MUSI 2120 – History of Jazz Music

    PLAP 3700 – Racial Politics

    RELA 2850 – Afro-Creole Religion in the Americas

    SOC 2442 – Systems of Inequality

    SOC 3410 – Race and Ethnic Relations

     

    Transnational/Regional:

     

    AMST 2753 – Arts and Cultures of the Slave South

    AMST 3323 – Hemispheric Latinx Literature and Culture

    AMST 3407 – Racial Borders and American Cinema

    AMST 3880 – Literature of the South

    AMST 4401 – Literature of the Americas

    ANTH 2250 – Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism

    HIEU 2102 – Modern Jewish History

    HILA 2002 – Modern Latin America, 1824-present

    HIUS 3231 – The Rise and Fall of the Slave South

    HIUS 3281 – Virginia History to 1900

    MDST 3115 - Breaking Bad: Once Upon a Time with the Pests

    MDST 3310 – Sound and Cinema

    AMST 3355 – Border Media

    AMST 3465 – America and the Global South in Literature and Film

    MDST 3105 – Latino/a Media Studies

    MDST 3110 – Hollywood Goes to Asia

    MDST 3584 – Global Cinema

    RELA 2850 – Afro-Creole Religion in the Americas

    SOC 3480 – Sociology of Globalization

Minor in Asian Pacific American Studies


Students are required to complete a minimum of six courses (18 credits) for the Asian Pacific American Studies minor. Students must complete three required courses and three electives. No more than three courses (9 credits) can come from the same department. No courses taken for the minor may be double-counted towards another major or minor. No more than one course taken outside of UVa (study abroad or transfer credits) can be counted towards the minor.

Required Courses


1. One survey course on Asian Pacific American Studies:


Minor in Latinx Studies


General Requirements


Students are required to complete a minimum of six courses (18 credits) for the Latinx Studies minor. Students must complete at least 2 courses from the core courses list and 1 from the comparative list. The remaining courses can come from the core or the electives list. Students must follow College rules on double counting any minor courses with their majors. No more than one course taken outside of UVA (study abroad or transfer credits) can be counted towards the minor.

Latinx Core Courses Requirement


Students must take at least two of the following Latinx Studies courses (or another course with primarily Latinx content approved by the director):

Comparative Race/Ethnicity Requirement


Students must take one course from the following list to explore history, theory, or culture in an adjacent field: Asian American studies, African American studies, Native American/indigenous studies, or another field approved by the director.

Elective Courses


The remaining 3 courses for the minor may come from the Latinx Core Courses list above or the following list of elective courses.