American Studies

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  • CAS AM 200: Introduction to American Studies
    An exploration of the multi-faceted themes of American society and culture in selected historical periods using a variety of approaches to interpret such topics as American art, literature, politics, material culture, and the mass media. Required of majors and minors. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS AM 250: American Arts and Society
    Investigates key issues and themes in American arts and letters. Topic for Spring 2015: Cold War and Consensus in 1950s America. Explores the tensions between domestic ideals and fractured reality in Cold War America. Combining film study, literary criticism, material culture, and cultural history, students gain a thorough, interdisciplinary understanding of the 1950s. Topics include Elvis Presley, McCarthyism, suburbia, and Disneyland.
  • CAS AM 301: Perspectives on the American Experience
    American history and society as viewed by those who made it. Topic for Fall 2014: America on Television. An exploration of the ways American culture and people are represented on television, how those representations evolve over time, and the way television representations influence public debate over important social and political issues.
  • CAS AM 313: Internships in Public History
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Students undertake supervised work in Boston-area institutions dedicated to the public presentation of America's past. Students meet with the instructor to discuss themes in public history theory and practice that, together with the internship experience and related readings, inform a final research project and class presentation. Also offered as CAS HI 313.
  • CAS AM 369: American Folk Art
    Explores the objects that collectors and museums identify as "American Folk Art." Examines how this label developed throughout the twentieth century; familiarizes students with major collections and genres including painting, sculpture, textiles, and other media. Also offered as CAS AH 369.
  • CAS AM 376: Housing America
    What do dwellings say about the diversity of American experience? For over four centuries and across a continent, wealth and poverty, family and community, taste and technology have all shaped the meaning of home. Illustrated lecturers supplemented by field trips. Also offered as CAS AH 376.
  • CAS AM 501: Special Topics in American Studies
    Topic for Fall 2014: Reading Boston: Conversations about the Real and Imagined City. Team-taught by English (Howell) and History of Art & Architecture (Morgan) professors. Multidisciplinary examination of Boston from Wampanoag settlement to the present. Explores how specific neighborhoods have developed and how they have been presented in literature. Includes frequent site visits around Boston. Serves as AM capstone.
  • CAS AM 502: Special Topics in American Studies
    Topic for Spring 2015: American Baseball. This interdisciplinary research seminar examines the history, culture, and science of the game from its shadowy origins in the early days of the nineteenth century, explosive growth in popularity during the Jazz Age, to the controversy-ridden Steroid Era.
  • CAS AM 524: New England Cultural Landscapes
    Examines the historic forces that have shaped the distinctive regional landscapes of New England and catalogues the changing forms that make up those landscapes. Also offered as CAS AH 525.
  • CAS AM 546: Places of Memory: Historic Preservation Theory and Practice
    Covers key aspects of the history, theory, and practice of historic preservation. Preservation will be discussed in the context of cultural history and the changing relationship between existing buildings and landscapes and attitudes toward history, memory, invented tradition, and place.
  • CAS AM 553: Documenting Historic Buildings and Landscapes
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    A seminar designed to train students in architectural research techniques through supervised reading, fieldwork, and writing. Students are introduced to the skills needed to conduct research on both individual resources and groups of resources, clustered within an area or scattered throughout a community. Also offered as CAS AH 553.