Jul 18, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
    
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 [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 department 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 Elective Course List


Historical Approaches


Race and Ethnicity


Additional American Studies Electives


Minor in Native American Indigenous Studies


Students are required to complete a minimum of six courses (18 credits) for the NAIS minor. Students must complete two required courses and four electives. 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.

Required Courses


  1. One survey course on Native American Indigenous Studies

• AMST/ANTH 3280, Introduction to Native American Studies

• AMST 2280, Contemporary Issues in Native North America

 

  1. One course on Global/Transnational Indigenous Studies

Eligible courses include:

ANTH 3100 - Indigenous Landscapes - Credits: 3   

ANTH 3152 - Rainforests of Flesh / Peoples of Spirit - Credits: 3   

ANTH 3450 - Native American Languages - Credits: 3   

• ANTH 4590/ARTH 4591, Aboriginal Contemporary Art

• *MDST 4301 - Global Indigenous Media - Credits: 3   

SPAN 4500 - Special Topics Seminar: Literature - Credits: 3   

Elective Courses

The remaining four courses for the minor may be taken from the lists above, or from a list of electives adjusted each semester based upon availability. Eligible courses include:

AMST 4403 - Transamerican Encounters - Credits: 3   

AMST 4500 - Fourth-Year Seminar in American Studies - Credits: 3   

• AMST/HIUS 3641, American Indian History

ANTH 2153 - North American Indians - Credits: 3   

ANTH 2160 - Culture and the Environment - Credits: 3   

ANTH 2589 - Topics in Archaeology - Credits: 3   

ANTH 3154 - Indians of the American Southwest - Credits: 3   

ANTH 3175 - Native American Art: The Astor Collection - Credits: 3   

ANTH 3589 - Topics in Archaeology - Credits: 3   

• ANTH 3590/ARTH 3595, Indigenous North American Art

• ANTH 5541, Language Revival in the Eastern Tribes

ARTH 2882 - Sex, Spirits & Sorcery: Modern Aboriginal Art - Credits: 4   

• ENGL 3332/AMST 4401, Literature of the Americas

ENGL 3725 - Contemporary Ethnic American Fiction - Credits: 3   

EVSC 2200 - Plants, People and Culture - Credits: 3   

GDS 3110 - Engaged Learning for Global/Local Development - Credits: 3   

GSGS 3111 - Global Studies Epistemology, Methodology & Methods - Credits: 3   

GDS 3114 - Science, Technology and Development - Credits: 3   

GSGS 4559 - New Course in Global Studies - Credits: 1 to 6   

• HILA 2001 - Colonial Latin America, 1500-1824 - Credits: 3   

• *HIUS 3012 - War and Empire in Colonial America - Credits: 3   

HIUS 3261 - History of the American West - Credits: 3   

• MDST/AMST 3407, Racial Borders & American Cinema

• MDST 4500, Surveillance and US Empire

RELG 3360 - Conquests and Religions in the Americas, 1400s-1830s - Credits: 3   

SPAN 4500 - Special Topics Seminar: Literature - Credits: 3    

SPAN 4711 - 1492 and the Aftermath - Credits: 3   

 

[*Indicates that course is rarely taught]

Minor in Southern Studies


Students are required to complete a minimum of six courses (18 credits) for the Southern Studies minor. Students must complete two required courses and four electives. 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.

Required Courses


Required Courses

2 broad courses related to Southern Studies

Elective Courses

The remaining four courses for the minor may be taken from the lists above, or from a list of electives adjusted each semester based upon availability. Eligible courses include: