American Studies Major, B.A.–American Indian and Indigenous Studies Concentration
The American Indian and indigenous studies concentration provides a meaningful grounding in the histories, cultures, and contemporary experiences of peoples indigenous to North America, as well as their encounters with settler states. The curriculum increasingly provides opportunities for students to gain a hemispheric perspective that includes the histories, cultures, and contemporary experiences of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Students may petition the director of undergraduate studies to have courses not listed approved to fulfill major or minor requirements; such courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the American studies program, students should be able to:
- Apply critical skills of analysis to a variety of primary historical sources and/or cultural expressions
- Exercise advanced writing skills that demonstrate clear articulation of ideas and effective expression of understanding
- Assess the value of interdisciplinary learning by engaging with a variety of disciplinary perspectives on the study of America within their major elective courses
- Interpret national traditions and ideals from different local, regional, transnational, and/or global situations and from diverse ideological and/or ethnic perspectives
- Report satisfaction with the American studies major and its value for their postgraduate academic and professional careers
In addition to the program requirements, students must
- earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
- complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
- take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
- earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.
For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.
The concentration in American Indian and indigenous studies consists of nine courses.
|AMST/HIST 110||Introduction to the Cultures and Histories of Native North America||3|
|Select eight additional courses from the list below, with at least four numbered 200 or higher.||24|
|AMST FYS||First-Year Seminar 1||3|
|AMST/ANTH 203||Approaches to American Indian Studies||3|
|AMST/HIST 231||Native American History: The East||3|
|AMST/HIST 233||Native American History: The West||3|
|AMST/ANTH/HIST 234||Native American Tribal Studies H||3|
|AMST/HIST 235||Native America in the 20th Century||3|
|AMST 246||Indigenous Storytelling: Oral, Written, and Visual Literatures of Native America||3|
|AMST 336||Native Americans in Film||3|
|AMST 337||American Indian Activism since 1887: Beyond Red Power||3|
|AMST 338||American Indian Novel||3|
|AMST 339||The Long 1960s in Native America||3|
|AMST 340||American Indian Art and Material Culture through Interdisciplinary Perspectives||3|
|AMST 341||Digital Native America||3|
|AMST 345||Issues in the Indigenous World||3|
|AMST 439||Meaning and Makers: Indigenous Artists and the Marketplace||3|
|AMST 510||Federal Indian Law and Policy||3|
|AMST 511||American Indians and American Law||3|
|ANTH 121||Ancient Cities of the Americas||3|
|ANTH 206||American Indian Societies||3|
|ANTH 231||The Inca and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Andean South America||3|
|ANTH 232||Ancestral Maya Civilizations H||3|
|ANTH 250||Archaeology of North America H||3|
|ANTH 252||Archaeology of Food||3|
|ANTH 406||Native Writers||3|
|ANTH 451||Field School in North American Archaeology H||6|
|ANTH 550||Archaeology of the American South||3|
|ARTH 160||Introduction to the Art and Architecture of Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica H||3|
|CHER 101||Elementary Cherokee Language I||3|
|CHER 102||Elementary Cherokee Language II||3|
|CHER 203||Intermediate Cherokee Language I||3|
|CHER 204||Intermediate Cherokee Language II||3|
|HIST 142||Latin America under Colonial Rule||3|
|HIST 145||Latin American Indigenous Peoples||3|
|HIST 240||Introduction to Mexico: A Nation in Four Revolutions||3|
|HIST 315||Nation-Building in Latin America H||3|
|HIST 526||History of the Andes||3|
|HIST/WGST 576||The Ethnohistory of Native American Women||3|
|LING 558||Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphs||3|
|LING 560||Mesoamerican Languages and Linguistics||3|
|LING 561||Native Languages of the Americas||3|
|MAYA 401||Introduction to Yucatec Maya||3|
|RELI 448||Native and Christian: Indigenous Engagements with Christianity||3|
|SPAN 344||Latin@ American Cultural Topics||3|
|SPAN 374||Mesoamerica through Its Native Literatures||3|
|SPAN 625||Indigenous Literatures and Cultures of the Américas||3|
|SPAN 683||Guaraní Linguistics||3|
Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.
With permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, one AMST First-Year Seminar course with relevant American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) content can count as an elective for the major.
Special Opportunities in American Studies
Honors in American Studies
The American studies major offers a two-course honors program: AMST 691H in the fall semester and AMST 692H in the spring semester. Students must propose their thesis and contract with a faculty advisor during the semester prior to the beginning of their senior year. For each semester of honors work, thesis students must submit a signed learning contract to the Department of American Studies during the registration period. During the two semesters devoted to honors work, students conduct individual research and prepare an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Students also will attend a weekly seminar at the discretion of the advisor. Students must maintain a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be eligible. With the approval of the associate or the assistant dean for honors, students with a slightly lower average who have a reasonable expectation of meeting the requirement within one more semester may embark upon the honors thesis, understanding that if they do not attain the 3.3 standard they may continue the research project as independent study but are not eligible to graduate with honors or highest honors.
The Department of American Studies offers a seminar on Service Learning in America (AMST 398) and offers credits for approved internship projects (AMST 493). Students have learned about American studies by serving the community in museums, schools, social agencies, and other cultural institutions. Many courses in the folklore program also offer experiential education credit through ethnographic training and fieldwork opportunities.
The Department of American Studies encourages students to consider a semester or more of study abroad and has developed close relations with several American studies programs in different countries. Studying American experience in international contexts is an integral part of understanding the place and influence of the United States in the world. Student learning is enhanced by the perspectives gained by examining how American subjects are taught in universities around the globe as well as by encountering the international students who enroll in American studies courses in Chapel Hill. Students can receive American studies major credit for selected study abroad programs and are encouraged to make study abroad part of their academic plans. Students interested in this experience should consult with the director of undergraduate studies or with the Study Abroad Office about international exchange programs sponsored by UNC–Chapel Hill. Furthermore, American studies majors and minors may apply for the Julia Preston Brumley Travel Scholarship, which is only available to American studies students, to help fund their study abroad.
The department awards Julia Preston Brumley Travel Scholarships to help fund international travel and study abroad. The Peter C. Baxter Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the outstanding senior majoring in American studies. The Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote Prize is awarded annually for the outstanding senior honors thesis.
The department offers credit for AMST 396 and FOLK 495. Majors can develop a two-semester honors thesis project (AMST 691H and AMST 692H) in consultation with an advisor. Students have received summer undergraduate research fellowships, earned research support and travel awards, and presented their work at the Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research each spring.
- American Studies Major, B.A.
- American Studies Major, B.A.–American Indian and Indigenous Studies Concentration