Fall 2023 Graduate Courses

American Studies

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

Topic for Fall 2023: Arctic Humanities. The Arctic world makes its presence felt throughout our planet. This class immerses students in the dynamic world of the circumpolar Arctic, a vast transcontinental region home to nearly 4 million people, with a focus on the North American Arctic (Canada, US, and Greenland). For too long defined by southerners as a lifeless, timeless, sublime, and remote wilderness or wasteland, the circumpolar North has played important roles in global economic and cultural exchanges for millennia, just as it has shaped the planetary environment long before the Anthropocene. In order to understand the North as a driver of climate change and geopolitics today, we will explore its long and deep significance as a source of powerful myths, resource extraction booms, aesthetic currents, colonial and postcolonial efforts, scientific and technological advances, Indigenous knowledge and belonging, and intense curiosity by outsiders. We will engage with Inuit culture (poems, novel, songs, material culture, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, film), European, North American, and African travel narratives and fiction, and the work of anthropologists, biologists, historians, political scientists, art historians, and geographers. We will provisionally take a day field trip to Bowdoin’s new Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum in Brunswick, Maine (failing that we will visit Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Anthropology). 

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.

The Literature of American Studies GRS AM 736
Prof. Patterson
Thur 12:30pm – 3:15pm

Introduction to classic problems in the interpretation of American society and culture. Required of all American Studies PhD students.

Independent Research Project Colloquium GRS AM 775
Prof. Haenraets

Restricted to students in their final semester of the Preservation Studies Master’s Program. Provides for the research and writing of an independent, rigorous, and original capstone project in the preservation field, with guidance from faculty.

Material Culture GRS AM 867
Prof. Moore
Tues 3:30 – 6:15pm

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. Explore contemporary scholarship from a range of disciplines. Also offered as GRS AH 867.

Affiliated Departments

This is only a sampling of courses. Please refer to individual department websites and the University Class Schedule for complete course offerings.

Note: Graduate students must take classes at the 500+ level.

African American Studies


Film and Television


History of Art & Architecture