AMERICAN STUDIES (AMST)
Analyze American journeys and destinations, focusing on how resources, technology, transportation, and cultural influences have transformed the navigation and documentation of America. Multimedia documentation of personal journey required.
This course uses changes in the American family over the past century as a way of understanding larger processes of social change. Honors version available.
This course uses archaeological and historical scholarship to consider the histories of the Southern Indians from the Mississippian period to the end of the 18th century.
This course explores birth and death as essential human rites of passage that are invested with significance by changing and diverse American historical, cultural, ethnic, and ethical contexts. Honors version available.
This course examines 20th-century American Indian art within the context of critical topics in the field such as sovereignty, colonialism, modernity, modernism, gender, and representation.
This research seminar provides a grounding in American Indian law, history, and literature. Students will conduct research for presentation on Wikipedia.
Designed to help prepare students for future study abroad opportunities and travel, service, and work in a global environment, the seminar focuses on critical differences, including transportation and other forms of infrastructure, that impact navigating places, people, and information. Individual competitive global travel proposals will be developed and presented.
This seminar looks at the culture, history, memories, and meanings of mobility for a diverse range of people in southern cultures. In particular, students will read and discuss books and articles by scholars on roads, cars, access, and diverse southern cultures.
The linguistic landscape of the United States in historical and contemporary perspective: American English dialects, language maintenance and shift among Native American and immigrant groups, language politics and policy.
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester. Honors version available.
Interdisciplinary examination of two centuries of American culture, focusing on moments of change and transformation.
Examines the role of memory in constructing historical meaning and in imagining the boundaries of American cultural communities. Explores popular rituals, artifacts, monuments, and public performances. Previously offered as AMST 384.
An interdisciplinary introduction to Native American history and studies. The course uses history, literature, art, and cultural studies to study the Native American experience.
Introduction to food studies covering a variety of topics including how food was consumed over history, land use and aquaculture, food in the arts, food and culture in the American South, food politics, and nutrition science.
A study of interdisciplinary methods and the concept of American Studies with an emphasis on the historical context for literary texts.
A study of interdisciplinary methods and the concept of American studies with an emphasis on historical and cultural analysis.
Introduces students to the disciplines comprising American Indian studies and teaches them how to integrate disciplines for a more complete understanding of the experiences of American Indian peoples.
An examination of both the mythical and real American South and its diverse peoples through the study of the region's archaeological, geographical, and environmental history integrated with the study of the region's sociology and its economic, political, intellectual, and religious history.
An examination of Southern cultural identity, literary imagination, and sense of place with an emphasis on the fiction, folklore, foodways, art, architecture, music, and material culture of the American South.
This course is an introduction to "animal studies," through animal rights, animal welfare, food studies, and the human/animal distinction in philosophical inquiry. We will read work from dog and horse trainers, and explore the history of the American racetrack. This course builds a moral and ethical reasoning skill set.
This course explores the historical, sociocultural, and legal significance of 20th- and 21st-century comedy in the United States. We will consider comedy as public voice; examine how humor constructs and disrupts American identities; and discuss the ethics of the creative process, performance, and reception. Honors version available.
Students will learn and practice the art of stand up comedy via structured assignments, group workshops, live performances and conversations that build on topics introduced in AMST 225. Class size is limited to 15 students. Instructor permission required.
Covers the histories of American Indians east of the Mississippi River and before 1840. The approach is ethnohistorical.
Deals with the histories of Native Americans living west of the Mississippi River. It begins in the pre-Columbian past and extends to the end of the 19th century.
This course introduces students to a tribally specific body of knowledge. The tribal focus of the course and the instructor change from term to term. Honors version available.
This course deals with the political, economic, social, and cultural issues important to 20th-century Native Americans as they attempt to preserve tribalism in the modern world.
Offers a historically, politically, and culturally contextualized examination of Native America through oral, written, and visual storytelling. Covering a wide range of genres, including oral narratives, novels, and visual arts, this introductory course showcases the fluidity of Indigenous artistic forms and their continuing centrality in Native America.
The first goal of this super course is to give students real tools for how to address multiple modes of difference and identity formations like race, gender, class, and sexuality.
This course examines the diversity of Muslims in America and the variety of creative expression created throughout this long history of transcultural involvement.
Course examines the history and culture of Jewish women in America from their arrival in New Amsterdam in 1654 to the present and explores how gender shaped this journey.
This course examines topics in the intellectual and cultural history of the United States in the mid-20th century, including issues of race thinking, mass culture, and gender ideologies.
We remember the 1950s as a period of relative tranquility, happiness, optimism, and contentment. This course will consider a handful of countertexts: voices from literature, politics, and mass culture of the 1950s that for one or another reason found life in the postwar world repressive, empty, frightening, or insane and predicted the social and cultural revolutions that marked the decade that followed.
Investigates the significance of Herman Melville as a representative 19th-century American author. Includes issues of biography, historical context, changing reception, cultural iconography, and the politics of the literary marketplace.
Examines how representations of captivity and bondage in American expression worked to construct and transform communal categories of religion, race, class, gender, and nation.
Explores the significance of tobacco from Native American ceremony to the Southern economy by focusing on changing attitudes toward land use, leisure, social style, public health, litigation, and global capitalism.
Examines the relationship between cinema and culture in America with a focus on the ways cinema has been experienced in American communities since 1896.
Interdisciplinary examination of the married condition from colonial times to the present. Themes include courtship and romance, marital power and the egalitarian ideal, challenges to monogamy.
This course will take students on a journey through some of the key moments in "American" food studies and its beginnings across a range of disciplinary homes: the study of nutrition and food security; the study of food systems and the vocabularies that subtend them.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course explores the historical role and implications for the US and other nations with respect to transnational environmental issues including climate change, sustainability, and migration. Honors version available. Honors version available.
This course explores the social history and culture of crime, deviant behavior, and punishment in America between the pre-revolutionary period and today. It traces the history of longstanding institutions; examines elements of American history from a criminal justice perspective; and seeks historical origins and continuities for contemporary problems.
Examines themes in the history and design of the most intimate and most public of objects - the house. Residences, from tract house mansions to apartment buildings, are powerful statements about how we see our society and how circumstances and choice lead us to house ourselves. Previously offered as AMST 466.
This course investigates how we make and signify meaning through images, ranging from art to advertising to graffiti, and provides the critical tools to understand the visual worlds we inhabit.
Focus on systemic and individual factors affecting access to work including gender, race, age, disability, transportation, international competition, technological progress, change in labor markets, educational institutions, and public policy.
Introduces students to how legal education is conducted in the United States by mimicking the "1L" experience, or first year in law school. It is broken into units that represent classes every law school teaches in the first year: contracts, property, torts, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law.
Special topics in American studies.
An interdisciplinary seminar in American studies addressing ethical issues in the United States.
Topics in American history in American studies. Honors version available.
Topics in arts and literature from the perspective of American studies.
An interdisciplinary approach to the history of adoption and related practices in the United States, employing the provisions society has made for the welfare of children deemed to be orphans as a powerful lens into changing values and attitudes toward childhood, race, class, gender, reproduction, parenthood, and family.
This course will move through prevalent critical theories in American Studies. Students will come away with advanced understanding of theoretical concepts and be able to ascertain both the advantages and pitfalls of their landscapes. Students will become familiar with critical race (postcoloniality and settler-colonialism, for example), feminist, "queer" theories, historical materialism, new materialism, political economy, just to name a few. Previously offered as AMST 420.
This course focuses on the contemporary art and social change movement. We will learn how to use site-specific and performative art interventions to make invisible borders, boundaries, and other issues visible and innovatively to create engaged and sustained dialogue.
Through the examination of a variety of song cultures and its artistic and cultural expressions, we explore the interdisciplinary methods of American studies and contemporary approaches to the study of American society and cultures, with an emphasis on musical performance. In partnership with Carolina Performing Arts, students will learn about the sociocultural, aesthetic, and critical components of song cultures associated with social change, exploring identity, diversity, privilege, cultures, and justice while participating in community service.
This course is about Hollywood's portrayal of Indians in film, how Indian films have depicted Native American history, and why the filmic representation of Indians has changed over time.
This course seeks to understand how American Indian individuals and communities survived a century that began with predictions of their disappearance. To answer that question, we take a broad view of politics and activism, exploring everything from the radical protest to art and everyday forms of resistance.
This course examines this art form's development by indigenous writers as a mode of storytelling that explores the continuing effects of settler colonialism upon indigenous peoples and foregrounds indigenous notions of land, culture, and community.
An interdisciplinary exploration of Native America during the "long 1960s" (1954-1973), this course focuses on how American Indian experiences intersected with and diverged from those of non-native groups via topics such as the youth movement, women's rights, nationalism, civil rights, radical protest, and creative expression.
Analyzes material culture created by Native artists throughout the United States and portions of Canada. Examines the role of art and artists and how material culture is studied and displayed. Students study objects, texts, and images, exploring mediums such as painting, sculpture, basket making, beadwork, and photography.
This is a project-based course that explores settler colonial appropriations of American Indian knowledge. Students then use new technologies as a means of engaging in the digital re-representation and return of this knowledge. Instructor and topics vary.
This course will explore the Indigenous world in various settler colonial contexts. We will come to understand the communities who claim Indigenous status, commonalities among Indigenous peoples, and differences that create important distinctions in places like the U.S. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. We will also learn how Indigenous peoples around the world continue to respond to various aspects of colonialism, including but not limited to law and policy, representation, art, and human rights.
Water is a vital element for life, food, energy, and transportation. Nations are connected and separated by water through borders and trade. This seminar will examine key impacts on American port cities with respect to water: global infrastructure, foodsheds, health, and diseases.
The course addresses the history and sociology of Asian immigration and experience in the United States, as well as the formation of diasporic identities among Asian Americans.
Traces the origins of detective fiction and major developments in the history of the genre with a focus on women authors and protagonists. Examines literary texts including fiction and film, with close attention to historical and social contexts and to theoretical arguments relating to popular fiction, genre studies, and gender.
An interdisciplinary seminar that explores stylistic choices and representational modes available to LGTBQ artists in the United States since 1950. We will relate shifts in cinematic and literary representations and aesthetic strategies to developments in political, social, and economic life.
This course introduces the phenomena of language shift, endangerment, and revitalization in America. In both indigenous and immigrant communities, the mid-1800s initiated a widespread shift toward English. Through readings and discussions, we examine the social and historical motivations for this trend, and explore critical thinking skills for analyzing language shift.
Explores the historical arc and study of food in America and how culinary cultures reflect regional, national, and global narratives, challenges, and identities. As an intriguing lens on to the American experience, food reveals how race, class, gender, and place are entwined in cuisine, food economies, and interactions.
Seminar in American studies topics with a focus on historical inquiry from interdisciplinary angles.
How the language, ideas, and cultural products of religious outsiders responded to and influenced mainstream ideas about what American religious communities could and should look like in terms of gender, race, economics, and faith-based practices.
Permission of the department. Directed reading under the supervision of a faculty member.
Explores history and theory of volunteerism and service learning in America. Includes a weekly academic seminar and placement in a service learning project.
We will engage such topics as race, immigration, cultural tourism, and memory to consider conceptions of the South. Students will research a subject they find compelling and write a 20- to 25-page paper.
This course examines how indigenous artists have negotiated, shaped, and pursued markets and venues of display ranging from "fine" art markets, galleries, and museums to popular markets associated with tourism.
This course explores the relation of American Indian poetry and music in English to the history and culture of indigenous communities and their relation to the United States.
This service-learning seminar examines water threats to port cities and low-lying areas from sea-level rise, extreme weather, and inadequate infrastructure. The focus is on the Americas, small and barrier islands, and high hazard regions including the South East and Gulf Coast communities. The APPLES project will focus on North Carolina resilience strategies. Recommended for juniors and seniors. Permission of the instructor for first year students. Honors version available.
Covers the definition and documentation of communities within North Carolina through research, study, and field work of communities. Each student produces a documentary on a specific community. Previously offered as AMST 275. Honors version available.
Examines the ways in which visual works - paintings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, film, advertising, and other images - communicate the values of American culture and raise questions about American experiences.
Drawing on American and international examples, this course addresses a body of art that occupies the borderlands of contemporary art, examining questions of authenticity, dysfunction, aesthetics, and identity.
This course explores ethnicity in the South and focuses on the history and culture of Jewish Southerners from their arrival in the Carolinas in the 17th century to the present day.
This course explores, through lecture and discussion, the experiences of everyday life from 1600 through the early 19th century, drawing on the evidence of architecture, landscape, images, and objects.
Seminar will explore the unique worlds of Southern material culture and how "artifacts" from barns to biscuits provide insight about the changing social and cultural history of the American South.
A reading seminar that examines multiple critical perspectives that shape the reception and interpretation of objects, with a particular emphasis on things in American life.
Permission of the department and the instructor. Internship. Variable credit.
Graduate or junior/senior standing. Examines American civilization by studying social and cultural history, criticism, art, architecture, music, film, popular pastimes, and amusements, among other possible topics.
This course gives an introduction to the American government's law and policy concerning tribal nations and tribal peoples. We examine a number of legal and political interactions to determine how the United States has answered the "Indian problem" throughout its history and the status of tribal peoples and nations today.
This course explores the history of Native interaction with the American legal system in order to understand how the law affects Native peoples and others today. Students are encouraged (but not required) to take AMST 510 before enrolling in this course.
This class will explore the intersection between race and American law, both in a historical and contemporary context. It will ask how both of these major social forces have informed and defined each other and what that means for how we think about race and law today.
Climate change means water challenges that threaten people, property, and the existence of nation states. Severe precipitation events from warmer air holding more water, sea-level rise, and more intense hurricanes, mean flooding, water quality, and foodshed issues for more than half the world's population. Drought, resulting wildfires, and the availability of life-sustaining water is a problem in others. The visual and performing arts are used to explore more effective ways to communicate this growing crisis.
Introduces the theory, politics, and practice of historical work conducted in public venues (museums, historic sites, national parks, government agencies, archives), directed at public audiences, or addressed to public issues.
Multidisciplinary examination of texts and other media of the Americas, in English and Spanish, from a variety of genres. Two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent strongly recommended.
Directed independent research leading to the preparation of an honors thesis and an oral examination on the thesis. Required of candidates for graduation with honors in American studies who enroll in the class once permission to pursue honors is granted.
Directed independent research leading to the preparation of an honors thesis and an oral examination on the thesis. Required of candidates for graduation with honors in American studies who enroll in the class once permission to pursue honors is granted.
This course will acquaint students with the texts, contexts, issues, and controversies in American Studies as a field of study. It is required for most American studies graduate students and open to graduate students in other departments.
This course will focus on techniques of American studies investigation. Various faculty members will make presentations highlighting approaches including Southern studies, American Indian studies, Material Culture studies, and new media.
This course takes a specific topic to explore in depth, and through this investigation critically examines contending perspectives on the field. Topics will change depending on faculty interest.
This course explores the theoretical underpinnings, history, and contemporary controversies around incarceration in the United States. It begins by exploring early articulations of the need for imprisonment as punishment, examines how that history unfolded in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, and engages with contemporary debates about mass incarceration and its impacts on American communities.
Community Histories and Public Humanities explores how communities have been, are, and might be preserved, documented, represented, and remembered. Focuses on the use of digitized primary sources and tools to engage communities in public history/humanities initiatives using interdisciplinary approaches informed by American Studies and Folklore. Participants have opportunity to work on ongoing community history/archiving projects. Project-based work is supported by reading in memory studies, representation, sites of trauma, community archiving, and oral history.
Seminar traces the intellectual tradition of refugees, migrants, and forced movers transiting the United States. Beginning in the 19th century and progressing to the 21st century, we will examine the works of anticolonial thinkers, Caribbean philosophers, journalists of the African American and Latinx traditions, labor movement musicians, activists in the Long Civil Rights Movement, Marxist organizers, and social and political reformers. We analyze how their dislocations and multi-sited lives have created spaces for philosophical interventions.
This class exposes graduate students to interdisciplinary food studies research in the humanities. We use farm records, cookbooks, novels, poetry, photographs, songs, documentaries, and oral histories to investigate American food communities. We are not aiming to define food studies, but are looking at its questions, problems, theories, and methods.
An opportunity for students to translate theory into practice as they make meaningful contributions to digital humanities projects. Field experience can be tailored to fit the intellectual and professional needs of individual students, who may choose to work on projects in cultural heritage institutions or within academic departments on campus.
This course is devised to provide graduate students interested in theoretical interdisciplinary work with a sense of prevailing questions and critiques important to CES. CES takes on the more difficult questions of intersectional work, as it thinks through sovereignty and emacipation, identity and ontology, place, space and temporality. Each iteration of the course works itself through new perspectives in the field, challenging students to create new methodologies for their own work.
This course, explores the application of digital technologies to the materials, questions, and practices of humanities scholarship, particularly as related to enduring topics in American Studies scholarship and community engagement. Students will work on group digital history projects in collaboration with local cultural heritage organizations.
This practicum blends graduate seminar discussions with hands-on training in the digital humanities. Students will work in the Digital Innovation Lab, contributing to real-life projects while developing their own professional development goals. Students will emerge with a deeper understanding of and experience with digital humanities approaches, practices, and issues.
Readings in and discussions of the major works in Native American history.
Topically focused examination of social and cultural aspects of cinema and media history in the United States, including cinema/media audiences, reception, and historiography.
Graduate seminar exploring selected topics in the theory and practice of American Studies.
Permission of the instructor. Independent reading programs for graduate students.
Permission of the instructor. Topics and credit hours vary according to the needs and interests of the individual student and the professor supervising the research project.
Students will be introduced to issues of project design, develop a prospectus for the M.A. capstone project, work with an advisor, and prepare full drafts of their projects.
A review of current scholarship in American Studies, with the aim of creating the final reading list for the comprehensive exams, and an introduction to dissertation design.
This is the third and final course in a required sequence for PhD students in the Department of American Studies. It is intended to scaffold you into "ABD" status: the concentrated period of research and writing that will lead to the completion of a dissertation. It does so first by creating a community of common labor around studying for comprehensive exams, and then by support you through the dissertation proposal and prospectus writing process. Restricted to Graduate Students only.
This course introduces graduate students to research methods in Native American history, including the methodology of ethnohistory and the techniques of compiling a source base, taking notes, and outlining.
Individual work on the doctoral dissertation, pursued under the supervision of the Ph.D. advisor.