Program in American Studies
219 Bryan Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400121
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121
The United States is a country held together by different and
often conflicting stories of nationhood, and the American Studies major is an
interdisciplinary major designed to create dialogue about the multiple ways
in which these stories have been told over the last five centuries. The American
Studies major demands of its students self-consciousness about their own theories
and practices through a comparative perspective on national narratives. We hope
students will learn to describe those narratives in different modes - written
and electronic, verbal and nonverbal, visual and auditory. In addition, each
student will be expected to demonstrate the ability to transcend disciplinary
boundaries. Although we affirm the necessity and integrity of individual disciplines,
we want our American Studies students to understand the assumptions and methods
of several of them. An ongoing goal for the small group admitted to the major
will be to realize a sense of intellectual community that enables its members,
both students and faculty, to look beyond their personal interests as they pursue
studies in common.
For more information about American Studies, please call the
Director at 924-6676 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requirements for a Major in American Studies
- 30 credits
- 10 courses
- AMST 201 (Major Texts in American Studies) recommended but not required
- AMST 301-302 (Introduction to the American Studies Major)
- AMST 401 (Fourth-Year Seminar in American Studies)
- Seven additional courses from the list of approved courses available
from the Director of American Studies. These courses represent African-American
Studies, Anthropology, Architectural History, Art, Economics, English,
Environmental Sciences, Drama, Government, History, Music, Philosophy,
Studies, Sociology, Studies in Women and Gender, Technology, Culture and
Communication and other relevant departments. Each student will design
program of courses in consultation with the Director. General guideline
for these seven courses: a minimum of at least three courses in a single
department and courses in at least three departments. Students enrolled
in the Distinguished Majors Program should include among their seven courses
AMST 493 and 494.
- Attendance at special events/lectures and participation in an American
Studies reading group.
Second year: AMST 201
Third year: AMST 301-302
Fall: ARTH 258 American Art, ECON 206 American Economic
Spring: ENAM 315 American Renaissance, DRAM 360 Modern American Theatre
Fourth year: AMST 401
Fall: GFAP 331 American Presidency, ARTH 280 Art since 1945
HIUS 317 United States Society and Politics 1945-1990, ARTH 358 Material
Life in Early America
(This student has taken the required AMST courses; three courses
in Art History; and five other courses in five departments, one more than he
or she actually needs.)
Distinguished Majors Program Students with
a 3.400 GPA in the College of Arts and Sciences and a 3.600 GPA in the major
to pursue Distinction. Students interested in participating in the Distinguished
Majors Program in American Studies should meet with the Director of the American
Studies major early in the second semester of the third year in order to discuss
Requirements for a 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.
more than one course taken outside of UVa (study abroad or transfer credits)
can be counted towards the minor.
- AMST (or ASAM) 200- or 300-level Asian Pacific American
general survey course:
• AMST 201: Asian American Multi-Media Cultural History
• ANTH 365: Asian America: From Yellow Peril to Bhangra Blowout
• AMEL 301 or 302: Asian American Survey will count towards the major
300-level American Studies theory survey course (first offering in Fall
- One course on Asian transnational or Asian Diasporic experiences;
eligible courses include (Note: this is not an exhaustive list):
• ANTH 363: Chinese Family and Religion
• HIEA 315: 20th Century East Asian American Relations
• PLCP 351: Introduction to Chinese Politics
PLCP 363: Politics of India & Pakistan
Elective courses: Three
additional courses from a pre-approved list adjusted per semester
depending upon availability. One of
the three courses must
be a 400-level seminar course in AMST or related discipline.
AMST 201 - (3) (IR)
Major Works for American Studies
A small lecture course enrolling between 35 and 60 students,
AMST 201 offers students significant texts or works of American culture, texts
or works that are printed, graphic, artifactual, material or oral. Although
one faculty member will teach the course, guest lecturers from various disciplines
may contribute as well. The goal of this course is to show students what kinds
of insights and syntheses result from juxtaposing works across disciplinary
boundaries and from different methodological perspectives.
AMST 301, 302 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to the American Studies Major
A year-long sequence of two small seminars, this course will
introduce majors both to the history of American Studies and to various theories
and methods for the practice of American Studies. The three goals of these seminars
are (1) to make students aware of their own interpretive practices; (2) to equip
them with information and conceptual tools they will need for advanced work
in American Studies; and (3) to provide them comparative approaches to the study
of various aspects of the United States.
AMST 401 - (3) (Y)
Fourth-Year Seminar in American Studies
This seminar is intended to focus study, research, and discussion
on a single period, topic, or issue, such as the Great Awakening, the Civil
War, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, or the 1960s. Topics vary.
AMST 493, 494 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: AMST 301, 302.
An elective course for American Studies majors who have completed AMST 301-302.
Students will work with an American Studies faculty member to support the student’s
own research. Topics vary, and must be approved by the Program Director.