Fall 2022 Undergraduate Courses

American Arts and Society CAS AM 250
MWF 10:10am – 11:00am

Investigates key issues and themes in American arts and letters. Topic for Fall 2022: The Mediated Body: Gender and Sexuality in American Popular Culture. This course considers bodies as sites of political and cultural expression in American culture. By examining popular cultural texts – film, television, graphic novels, music, and advertising – within their historical contexts, students learn how the mediated body is given meaning and value in relation to gender, sexuality, and other identity markers.

Material Culture CAS AM 367
Tu/Th 2:00pm – 3:15 pm
Prof. Lennard

Introduction to the theory and practice of the interdisciplinary study of material culture, which includes everything we make and use, from food and clothing to art and buildings. Topic for Fall 22: How have diverse groups of Americans used everyday objects to envision, embody, and resist racial categories since the 18th century? Students will use objects like Chinese export porcelain teacups, Klan robes, and mid-century modern coffee tables to see what material culture can teach us about histories of race in the US. Also offered as CAS AH 367.

American Buildings and Landscapes CAS AM 385
Prof. Moore
Tu/Th 12:30pm – 1:45 pm

An introductory analytic survey of American buildings and landscapes within their historical and cultural contexts. Students examine forces that have shaped the American built environment. Topics range from Indian mounds to commercial strips, Spanish missions to skyscrapers. Also offered as CAS AH 385.

Special Topics in American Studies CAS AM 501
Prof. Battenfeld
Tu/Th 11:00am – 12:15pm

Topic for Fall 2022: Unsettling American Studies. Explores frameworks such as critical race theory and decolonization that recognize the centrality of racism and settler colonialism to American life. Students consider theories, practices, and debates, and apply what they have learned to a research topic of their choice. Capstone course for American & New England Studies majors.

The American South in History, Literature, and Film CAS AM 505
Prof. Silber
Thur 12:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Explores the American South through literature, film, and other sources. Considers what, if anything, has been distinctive about the Southern experience and how a variety of Americans have imagined the region over time. Also offered as CAS HI 505. Effective Spring 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness.

Places of Memory: Historic Preservation Theory and Practice CAS AM 546
Prof. Stevenson
Fri 11:15am – 2:00pm

Covers key aspects of the history, theory, and practice of historic preservation. Preservation is 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. Also offered as CAS AH 546 and CAS HI 546

Boston Architectural and Community History Workshop CAS AM 555
Prof. Ahlstrom
Wed 2:30pm – 5:15 pm

Focuses on class readings, lectures, and research on a single neighborhood or community in Boston (or Greater Boston). Greatest emphasis is on using primary sources– land titles and deeds, building permits, fire insurance atlases and other maps. Explores places and sources that help assess and narrate the rich history of architectural and urban development.

Affiliated Programs

Students in the American Studies Program also take courses in other departments with affiliated faculty. Some of the courses commonly taken by students are listed below. For a detailed course list for each department, please consult the Undergraduate Bulletin.

African American Studies


Film and Television


History of Art & Architecture