The Social and Literary Movements concentration focuses upon two areas of study: major cultural products by the principal novelists, philosophers, poets, political and religious thinkers, historians, artists, musicians and intellectuals in American history; and major cultural movements which have shaped the world view and attitudes of literate Americans in American history.
In the first area of focus, a heavy emphasis will be given to individual creative work, its form and content, its specific antecedents and influences as well as its later impact, and the cultural and philosophical implications of the document itself. The relationship between each work and larger trends of the period, both cultural and social, will also be explored.
In the second field of study, the focus will be upon broader cultural movements which are diffused through the larger literate society, which include major cultural documents as well as popular expressions of these ideas, beliefs and attitudes. Thus, the focus here is on the cultural reception and diffusion of ideas, the relation between innovative movements and mainstream belief systems and attitudes, and the nature and direction of cultural exchange.
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 five 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 three courses should be at the 300-level.
|PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN IDENTITIES
|AMERICAN BUDDHISMS: RACE AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY
|IN THEIR OWN VOICES: AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
|AMERICAN ETHNICITIES 1800-1945
|HISTORY OF SEX IN AMERICA 1: COLONIAL TO LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY
|HISTORY OF SEX IN AMERICA 2: LATE VICTORIANS TO THE PRESENT
|AMERICAN VOICES: TO 1860
|AMERICAN VOICES: FROM 1860 ONWARD
|TOPICS IN AMERICAN SOCIAL AND LITERARY MOVEMENTS
|ADVANCED TOPICS IN GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES IN THE U.S./AMERICAS
|ADVANCED TOPICS IN AMERICAN SOCIAL AND LITERARY MOVEMENTS
|ADVANCED TOPICS IN AMERICAN STUDIES
Asian American Studies
|ASIAN AMERICAN ARTS AND CULTURE
African & Black Diaspora Studies
|BLACKS AND LOVE
|SURVEY OF AFRICAN DIASPORIC INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT
|BLACK AESTHETIC THOUGHT
|HARLEM RENAISSANCE AND NEGRITUDE
|RELIGIOUS DIMENSIONS OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
|RACE AND ETHNICITY IN LITERARY STUDIES
|JAZZ AND THE DIASPORIC IMAGINATION
|DIMENSIONS OF BLACK FAMILY LIFE
|BLACK FEMINIST THEORIES IN A U.S. CONTEXT
|RECONSTRUCTION AND THE RISE OF JIM CROW
|VOTING, REPRESENTATION, AND THE LAW
|AFRICAN AMERICAN DRAMA AND POETRY
|DEVELOPMENT OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT
|THE AMERICAN NOVEL
|AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
|LITERATURE AND IDENTITY
|TOPICS IN 19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE
|AMERICAN LITERATURE TO 1830
|19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE
|AMERICAN LITERATURE FROM 1865 TO 1920
|AMERICAN LITERATURE AFTER 1900
|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.
|STUDIES IN SHORT FICTION 1
|WOMEN AND LITERATURE 1
|TOPICS IN LATINX LITERATURE
|TOPICS IN LGBTQ LITERATURE
|STUDIES IN THE MODERN AMERICAN NOVEL 1
|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
|AMERICAN URBAN HISTORY
|U.S. HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE
|HISTORY OF AMERICAN RELIGION
|WESTWARD EXPANSION IN U.S.
|U.S. LABOR HISTORY
|THE OLD SOUTH
|AFRICAN-AMERICAN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY
|U.S. WOMEN'S HISTORY
|AMERICAN COLONIAL HISTORY
|THE CIVIL WAR ERA
|EMERGENCE OF MODERN AMERICA, 1877-1914
|THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE NEW DEAL ERA
|THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1940
|RECONSTRUCTION AND THE RISE OF JIM CROW
|BORDERLANDS AND FRONTIERS IN AMERICA
|AFRICAN-AMERICAN URBAN HISTORY
Latin American & Latino Studies
|CONSTRUCTING LATINO COMMUNITIES
|LATINO RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
|GROWING UP LATINO/LATINA IN THE U.S.
|SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
|THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER. PEOPLE, RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENTAL WASTE, TECHNOLOGY
|SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT AND LATINO FAMILIES
|SPECIAL TOPICS: LATINOS IN THE U.S.
|LATINOS IN EDUCATION
Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies
|CHICAGO AND STRATEGIC NONVIOLENCE
|COMMUNITIES WORKING FOR SUSTAINABLE JUSTICE AND PEACE: SERVICE IN CHICAGO AND THE U.S.
|WHAT IS FREEDOM?
|THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM
|AMERICAN POLITICAL CULTURE
|WOMEN AND POLITICS
|AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
|THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
|NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGIONS
|BLACK INTELLECTUAL TRADITIONS
|SLAVERY, RACE AND RELIGION
|RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES
Women’s & Gender Studies
|GROWING UP FEMALE IN THE U.S.
|GENDER, VIOLENCE AND RESISTANCE
|MOTHERING, WORK, AND REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
|GENDER AND FAMILIES
|TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE: THEORY AND PRACTICE
|WOMEN AND ART
|UTOPIAN AND DYSTOPIAN LITERATURE AND FILM: GENDER, RACE AND BEYOND
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 y our understanding of the area of American culture on which you are focusing?” These essays, a long 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 elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.