History & Literature's field of American Studies gives students the opportunity to examine the history and literature of the United States. The field encourages students to take courses from the pre-colonial period to the present, emphasizing cultural exchanges among diverse populations within and beyond the borders of the United States. Students in the American Studies field study themes such as colonization and imperialism, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, globalization and labor, and aesthetics and popular culture.
In addition to the requirements for all concentrators (5 tutorials and 1 course that satisfies the language requirement), students in the American Studies field complete the following requirements:
- 2 courses (1 history and 1 literature) on the period before 1865, including pre-colonial, colonial, early republic, and antebellum;
- 2 courses on the period 1865-1945 (1 history and 1 literature);
- 4 elective courses on any period of American Studies, balanced between history and literature.
The 8 courses above must also include: 1 course on transnational themes (e.g. diaspora, migration, empire) and/or comparative approaches that examine the United States in a wider, global context, 1 course on race and ethnicity in American history or literature, and 1 course on gender and sexuality in American history or literature. A single course may fulfill any ONE of these categories, but not more than one.
The following sample field worksheets illustrate how students in the field of American Studies have used the distribution requirements to create individualized plans of study on topics such as: