Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies Concentration, American Studies (BA)

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American Studies has taken a central position in the analysis of American ethnicity and race. Early work in this area focused on the history and culture of specific groups, but as the field has developed, inquiry has turned to the theoretical and comparative analysis of race. Courses in this concentration encourage students to explore both the specificity and the diversity of race and ethnicity in American culture by taking some courses that focus on the experience of one racial or ethnic group and others that offer comparative perspectives.

Concentration Courses

Please note that the below list of possible courses is not exhaustive and that many courses listed under "TOPICS" headings may also count toward American Studies. Students may take an unlimited number of TOPICS courses, as long as the topic of each course is different. 

Students must choose six courses from the following; however, exceptions may be granted by the Director of the American Studies Program. No more than three courses may be from any one department (AMS notwithstanding); at least two courses should be at the 300-level.

American Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN IDENTITIES
AMERICAN BUDDHISMS: RACE AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY
ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORIES
CHICAGO HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, AND CULTURES
AMERICAN ETHNICITIES 1800-1945
PACIFIC WORLD: NORTH AMERICA AND THE PACIFIC, 1776 - 1945
TOPICS IN AMERICAN RACE AND ETHNIC STUDIES
ADVANCED TOPICS IN AMERICAN STUDIES
ADVANCED TOPICS IN AMERICAN RACE AND ETHNIC STUDIES

Asian American Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY
ASIAN AMERICAN ARTS AND CULTURE
GLOBAL ASIA
TOPICS IN ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES
JAPANESE AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE US/CHICAGO

African & Black Diaspora Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AND BLACK DIASPORA STUDIES
AFRICAN AMERICA: PEOPLES, CULTURES, IDEAS AND MOVEMENTS
ARCHEOLOGY OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
AFRICAN AMERICAN POLITICS
BLACKS AND LOVE
PHILOSOPHY AND THE QUESTION OF RACE
BLACK AESTHETIC THOUGHT
HARLEM RENAISSANCE AND NEGRITUDE
RACE AND ETHNICITY IN LITERARY STUDIES
JAZZ AND THE DIASPORIC IMAGINATION
PAN-AFRICANISM
AFRICAN AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION
AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
RECONSTRUCTION AND THE RISE OF JIM CROW
VOTING, REPRESENTATION, AND THE LAW
AFRICAN- AMERICAN FICTION
AFRICAN AMERICAN DRAMA AND POETRY
TOPICS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY 1940-1960
BLACK FEMINIST THEORY

Comparative Literature

Course Title Quarter Hours
THE LITERATURE OF IDENTITY 1
FEMINIST LITERATURE 1

Catholic Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
ART IN THE SPANISH AMERICAN EMPIRE
HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE U.S.
THE CULTURE OF AMERICAN CATHOLICS

Community Service Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PRISON
LAW AND POLITICS: PRISON POLICIES AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
COMMUNITY FOOD SYSTEMS
CRITCAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC EDUCATION: THE CHICAGO CONTEXT

Critical Ethnic Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
CRITICAL ETHNIC STUDIES
MOBILITY AND THE STATE
CITIES AND RACIAL FORMATION
BORDERS AND MIGRATION
RACE AND THE MEDIA

English

Course Title Quarter Hours
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
LITERATURE AND IDENTITY 1
LATINX LITERATURE
POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE
TOPICS IN GENRE STUDIES
TOPICS IN 20TH-CENTURY FICTION
TOPICS IN AMERICAN STUDIES
TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE
TOPICS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
MULTIETHNIC LITERATURE OF THE U.S.
NATIVE LITERATURE
WOMEN AND LITERATURE 1
TOPICS IN LATINX LITERATURE

Geography

Course Title Quarter Hours
URBANIZATION
RACE, JUSTICE, AND THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT
HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF CHICAGO

History of Art & Architecture

Course Title Quarter Hours
INTRODUCTION TO ARTS OF THE AMERICAS

History

Course Title Quarter Hours
HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE U.S.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1800
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, 1800-1900
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, 1900 TO PRESENT
HISTORY OF CHICAGO
LATINOS IN THE UNITED STATES
TOPICS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY
AFRICAN-AMERICAN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY
TOPICS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
THE COURT AND THE U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS
AFRICAN-AMERICAN URBAN HISTORY

Latin American & Latino Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
LATINO RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
CONSTRUCTING LATINO COMMUNITIES
MEDIA AND CULTURAL STUDIES ACROSS THE AMERICAS
AFRO-CARIBBEAN AND AFRO-LATIN AMERICA: PEOPLES, CULTURES, IDEAS AND MOVEMENTS
LATINOS/AS AND THE CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEM
JEWISH EXPERIENCES IN THE AMERICAS
LATINO/A LIBERATION TRADITIONS
BORDER MATTERS:LITERATURE & CULTURE IN THE LATINO/A BORDERLANDS
LATINO COMMUNITIES AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
LATINO COMMUNITIES IN CHICAGO
GROWING UP LATINO/LATINA IN THE U.S.
MOTHERHOOD IN LATINO COMMUNITIES
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT AND LATINO FAMILIES
SPECIAL TOPICS: LATINOS IN THE U.S.
LATINA/O SEXUALITIES
GLOBALIZATION IN THE AMERICAS
LATINOS IN EDUCATION
INDIGENOUS POLITICAL STRUGGLES

Music

Course Title Quarter Hours
JAZZ

Philosophy

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHILOSOPHY AND RACE

Political Science

Course Title Quarter Hours
AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLITICS
URBAN POLITICS
LAW AND THE POLITICAL SYSTEM
FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
RIGHTS OF DEFENDANTS
EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS
INEQUALITY IN AMERICAN SOCIETY
ADVANCED TOPICS IN AMERICAN POLITICS
ADVANCED TOPICS IN POLITICAL THOUGHT 1
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Psychology

Course Title Quarter Hours
PSYCHOLOGY OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILD

Religion

Course Title Quarter Hours
RELIGION IN SOCIETY
RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES
ISLAM IN THE UNTIED STATES
THE CULTURE OF AMERICAN CATHOLICS

Sociology

Course Title Quarter Hours
RACE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS
POLICE AND THE URBAN COMMUNITY
RACE AND ETHNICITY IN THE CITY
WHITE RACISM
SLAVERY AND RACIALIZATION
CRIMINAL- LEGAL SYSTEM: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES
STREET GANGS
SOCIAL INEQUALITY
URBAN SOCIOLOGY

Women's and Gender Studies

Course Title Quarter Hours
DECONSTRUCTING THE DIVA
BLACK WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES: VARIABLE TOPICS

Portfolio Requirement

Students are encouraged to maintain an active record of documents from their concentration courses, including syllabi, completed written course work, collections of visuals, e.g., photo essays -- whatever is appropriate to the six courses chosen for the concentration. Students will use these documents to aid them in writing reflective essays during the initial weeks of their senior seminar. These essays might ask you to consider “What were the course’s most valuable lessons in research, analysis, writing and communication? How did this course, taken together with the other courses you have chosen for your concentration, influence/develop your understanding of the area of American culture on which you are focusing?” These essays, along with representative assignments, will form the student's American Studies "portfolio." Students turn in their portfolio on the concentration, along with a proposal for the senior seminar project, in the first weeks of the senior seminar, AMS 301. Specific directions for the portfolio can be obtained from your American Studies advisor, from the American Studies Program office, or from the American Studies Program Director.

Open Electives

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours. ​