American Studies

American studies is the interdisciplinary study of the United States. Majors and minors analyze American history and experience through a variety of different disciplines in order to gain insight into the multiplicity of cultures, ideas, and institutions that make up the nation. They draw on departments and programs, such as African and African American studies, American Catholic studies, art history and music, English, history, Latin American and Latino studies, philosophy, political science, urban studies, and sociology. Those majoring or minoring in American studies have in common, however, the desire to link these perspectives into a complex view of the nation and its culture.

American studies is a small program and admission is competitive based on grades, a writing sample, and a faculty reference. Students seeking to enter the program meet with the director to obtain an application and entrance information. We have about 15-20 majors and minors per class.

Program Activities

The American studies program presents a variety of programs for its students. We take excursions into New York City, such as faculty-led tours of New York City’s waterfronts, the New York Historical Society, Green-Wood Cemetery, and El Museo del Barrio. We sponsor guest lecturers and performers, such as Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer, authors of Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, and Aliens in a New America; historian Mae Ngai, author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America; journalist Philip Gourevitch, author of The Ballad of Abu Ghraib; and performance artist Patrick Johnson, who wrote Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. Many of these events give students an opportunity to make their voices and opinions heard, such as our open forums and salon discussions on topics such as “Wal-Mart: the Price of Doing Business in America” and “Democracy and the Media: The Effects of Journalism on Past and Present Elections.” Perhaps the most highly anticipated day of the year is the senior thesis presentation every December. These events, along with social gatherings each semester, allow American studies students opportunities to socialize with one another and with their faculty.

Courses outside the program

The following courses offered outside the department have the AMST attribute and count toward the American Studies major and minor:

CourseTitleCredits
AFAM 3030AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN4
AFAM 3036GLOBAL BLACK YOUTH CULTURES4
AFAM 3037BEING AND BECOMING BLACK IN THE ATLANTIC WORLD4
AFAM 3102THE BLACK FAMILY4
AFAM 3112THE SIXTIES4
AFAM 3115MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND MALCOLM X4
AFAM 3120BLACK RELIGION AND BLACK POLITICS4
AFAM 3130RACIAL AND ETHNIC CONFLICT4
AFAM 3132BLACK PRISON EXPERIENCE4
AFAM 3134FROM ROCK-N-ROLL TO HIP-HOP4
AFAM 3136CIVIL RIGHTS/BLACK POWER4
AFAM 3138NONVIOLENT PROTEST4
AFAM 3146CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES3
AFAM 3150CARIBBEAN PEOPLES AND CULTURE4
AFAM 3210ON THE MOVE: MIGRATION, LABOR, AND TRANS-NATIONALISM IN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA4
AFAM 3510IN "AMERICA'S BACKYARD": U.S.-CARIBBEAN SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMIC RELATIONS 1850-19504
AFAM 3633THE BRONX: IMMIGRATION, RACE, AND CULTURE4
AFAM 3720AFRICAN AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY4
AFAM 4000AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND THE AMERICAN DREAM4
AFAM 4148RACE, RELIGION, AND POLITICS: CATHOLIC AND CIVIL RIGHTS4
AMCS 3101THE DISCERNMENT SEMINAR1
AMCS 3200AMERICAN AND CATHOLIC4
AMCS 3333AMERICAN CATHOLIC FICTIONS4
AMCS 3340CATHOLICISM AND DEMOCRACY4
AMCS 3982CATHOLIC STUDIES SEMINAR II4
ANTH 3180ETHNOGRAPHIC METHODS: CULTURES OF NEW YORK CITY4
ANTH 3330RACE AND URBAN LANDSCAPE4
ANTH 3339IRISH AND MEXICAN MIGRATION: NEW YORK FOCUS4
ANTH 3340ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON RACE AND ETHNICITY4
ANTH 3341RACE, SEX, AND SCIENCE4
ANTH 3343GHETTOS AND GATED COMMUNITIES4
ANTH 3351COMPARATIVE CULTURES4
ANTH 3354RACE, IDENTITY, AND GLOBALIZATION4
ANTH 3380HAZARDS, DISASTERS, AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE4
ANTH 3393GRAFFITI: THE CHALLENGES AND CONUNDRUMS OF STREET ART4
ARHI 2250PRE-COLOMBIAN ART4
ARHI 2520AMERICAN ART4
ARHI 4530GENDER AND MODERN ART4
CISC 4001COMPUTERS AND ROBOTS IN FILM4
CISC 4650CYBERSPACE: ISSUES AND ETHICS4
COLI 4603ASIANS IN THE AMERICAS4
COMC 1101COMMUNICATIONS AND CULTURE: HISTORY, THEORY, AND METHODS4
COMC 2236THE ROCK REVOLUTION IN MUSIC AND MEDIA4
COMC 2258MYTH AND SYMBOL OF AMERICAN CHARACTER4
COMC 2271MEDIATED COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL THEORY4
COMC 2377MASS COMMUNICATION AND SOCIETY4
COMC 3186SPORTS COMMUNICATION4
COMC 3235POPULAR MUSIC AS COMMUNICATION4
COMC 3237GENDER IMAGES AND MEDIA4
COMC 3247RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER IN MEDIA4
COMC 3268MEDIA AND NATIONAL IDENTITY4
COMC 3272HISTORY AND CULTURE OF ADVERTISING4
COMC 3330PEACE, JUSTICE, AND THE MEDIA4
COMC 3350MEDIA LAW4
COMC 3370ETHICAL ISSUES IN MEDIA4
COMC 3375CHILDREN AND MEDIA4
COMC 4222MEDIA AND THE ENVIRONMENT4
COMC 4279MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE4
COMC 4340FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION4
COMC 4360COMMUNICATION ETHICS AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE4
COMM 1000FUNDAMENTALS OF COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES3
DTEM 1401INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AND EMERGING MEDIA4
DTEM 1402DIGITAL CULTURES4
DTEM 3476SOCIAL MEDIA4
DTEM 4480DIGITAL MEDIA AND PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY4
ECON 3453LAW AND ECONOMICS4
ECON 3570LABOR MARKET AND DIVERSITY4
ECON 3850ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS4
ECON 4110ETHICS AND ECONOMICS4
ENGL 1501IMAGINING NEW YORK CITY IN LITERATURE3
ENGL 3001QUEER THEORIES4
ENGL 3036LATIN AMERICAN SHORT STORY4
ENGL 3325SLAVERY AND 18TH CENTURY LITERATURE4
ENGL 3333CAPTIVES, CANNIBALS AND REBELS: (ADVANCED LITERATURE CORE)4
ENGL 3359ASIAN DIASPORIC LITERATURE4
ENGL 3425NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE4
ENGL 3436AMERICAN DREAM IN LITERATURE4
ENGL 3438AMERICAN MODERNISM4
ENGL 3467DISOBEDIENCE IN LITERATURE4
ENGL 3535MODERN POETRY4
ENGL 3584EARLY CARIBBEAN LITERATURE4
ENGL 3613MODERN AMERICAN NOVELS4
ENGL 3628BLACK AUTOBIOGRAPHIES4
ENGL 362920TH CENTURY AFRO-AMERICAN LITERATURE4
ENGL 3649WOMEN’S LITERATURE, AMERICAN TRAGEDY4
ENGL 3653MAJOR AMERICAN AUTHORS: (Advanced Literature Core)4
ENGL 3655THE ART OF CAPTIVITY4
ENGL 3673POSTMODERN LITERATURE AND CULTURE4
ENGL 3701AMERICAN WRITERS IN PARIS4
ENGL 3919WRITING WHITENESS4
ENGL 3930INTRODUCTION TO GAY AND LESBIAN LITERATURE4
ENGL 4113SEMINAR: WRITING WHITENESS4
ENGL 4118DICKINSON, WHITMAN, AND COMPANY4
ENGL 4119SEMINAR: GOD AND MONEY IN EARLY AMERICA4
ENGL 4121NEW YORK CITY IN FICTION4
ENGL 4184POSTWAR AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE4
ENGL 4227BLACK LITERATURE AND FILM4
ENGL 4421DISABILITY, LITERATURE, CULTURE: NEUROLOGICAL, MENTAL, AND COGNITIVE DIFFERENCE IN CULTURE & CONTEXT4
ENGL 4603ASIANS IN THE AMERICAS4
ENGL 4604JAZZ AGE, LITERATURE, AND CULTURE4
FITV 2601HISTORY OF TELEVISION4
FITV 2659THE BROADCAST INDUSTRY4
FITV 3545FILM AND TELEVISION OF HITCHCOCK4
FITV 3571SCIENCE FICTION IN FILM AND TELEVISION4
FITV 3639QUALITY TELEVISION/CULT TV4
FITV 3647GENDER, RACE, CLASS, AND TELEVISION4
FITV 3648TELEVISION, RACE, AND CIVIL RIGHTS4
FITV 3678TELEVISION COMEDY AND AMERICAN VALUES4
FITV 4570FILMS OF MORAL STRUGGLE4
HIST 1100UNDERSTANDING HISTORICAL CHANGE: AMERICAN HISTORY3
HIST 3001AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY I4
HIST 3013HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOOD4
HIST 3635SCIENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE4
HIST 3653GENDER IN EARLY AMERICA4
HIST 3655WITCHCRAFT IN COLONIAL AMERICA4
HIST 3656THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION4
HIST 3657AMERICAN CONSTITUTION4
HIST 3752COMING OF THE CIVIL WAR4
HIST 3753CIVIL WAR ERA: 1861-18774
HIST 3774HISTORY OF CAPITALISM IN THE U.S.4
HIST 3775THE EARLY REPUBLIC4
HIST 3797THE HISTORY OF US POPULAR CULTURE4
HIST 3804CITY IN AMERICAN HISTORY4
HIST 3806U.S. IMMIGRATION/ETHNICITY4
HIST 3808NEW YORK CITY POLITICS4
HIST 3820SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL REFORM IN AMERICA SINCE 18774
HIST 3822U.S. CULTURAL HISTORY4
HIST 3826MODERN US WOMEN'S HISTORY4
HIST 3838HISTORY OF U.S. SEXUALITY4
HIST 3842THE VIETNAM WARS4
HIST 3843AMERICAN DRUG WAR4
HIST 3846THE HISTORY OF U.S. FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1974 TO PRESENT4
HIST 3857AMERICA SINCE 19454
HIST 3862HISTORY OF NEW YORK CITY4
HIST 3864NEW FRONTIERS? 1960'S AMERICA4
HIST 3880HISTORY OF THE COLD WAR4
HIST 3969LATIN AMERICA AND THE U.S.4
HIST 3990NORTH AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY4
HIST 3991THE AMERICAN INDIAN4
HIST 4005AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY: HISTORY AND ART4
HIST 4008RACE AND GENDER IN THE OLD WEST4
HIST 4120IMAGINING EMPIRE4
HIST 4652SEMINAR: AMERICA AT WAR4
HIST 4715OIL AND POWER IN THE AMERICAN CENTURY4
HIST 4820SEMINAR: AFRICAN ICONS4
HIST 4845U.S.-LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS4
HPRH 2052CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT3
IRST 3412IRISH AMERICA4
JOUR 3760THE JOURNALIST AND THE LAW4
JOUR 4750VALUES IN THE NEWS4
JOUR 4766TELEVISION NEWS INNOVATORS4
LALS 2005AMERICAN PLURALISM4
MAND 2670ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF SINO-AMERICAN RELATIONS4
MLAL 3701VILLAINS, VAMPS AND VAMPIRES: AN INTRODUCTION TO GERMAN CINEMA4
MUSC 2014JAZZ: A HISTORY IN SOUND4
MUSC 2022BROADWAY MUSICALS4
MUSC 2031ROCK AND POP MUSIC SINCE WORLD WAR II4
PHIL 3422HARRY POTTER AND PHILOSOPHY4
PHIL 3720AFRICAN AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY4
PHIL 3722NATIVE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY4
PHIL 3990ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS AND ETHICS4
PHIL 4302ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY & ETHICS4
PHIL 4407GENDER, POWER, AND JUSTICE4
PHIL 4416ART, MORALITY, AND POLITICS4
PHIL 4418ISSUES OF LIFE AND DEATH4
PHIL 4470LINCOLN: DEMOCRATIC VALUES4
PHIL 4486EVIL, VICE, AND SIN4
PJST 4970COMMUNITY SERVICE/SOCIAL ACTION4
POSC 1100INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS3
POSC 2102INTRODUCTION TO URBAN POLITICS4
POSC 2202INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS3
POSC 2203INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM3
POSC 2205THE U.S. CONGRESS4
POSC 3121NEW YORK CITY POLITICS4
POSC 3131POLITICS, URBAN HEALTH, AND ENVIRONMENT4
POSC 3209CONSTITUTIONAL LAW4
POSC 3210CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES4
POSC 3213INTEREST GROUP POLITICS4
POSC 3214THE U.S. CONGRESS4
POSC 3215AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES4
POSC 3217THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY4
POSC 3219CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND THE DEATH PENALITY4
POSC 3220CRIMINAL LAW AND JUSTICE IN THE U.S.4
POSC 3301CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS4
POSC 3307ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS4
POSC 3309WOMEN IN AMERICAN POLITICS4
POSC 3315POLITICAL PARTICIPATION4
POSC 3317MEDIA AND PUBLIC OPINION4
POSC 3321AMERICAN PUBLIC POLICY4
POSC 3404AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT4
POSC 3413CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY4
POSC 3530U.S. FOREIGN POLICY4
POSC 3614POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS4
POSC 3645POLITICS OF IMMIGRATION4
POSC 3915INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY4
POSC 4013RELIGION AND AMERICAN POLITICS4
POSC 4015AMERICAN ECONOMIC POLICYMAKING4
POSC 4020PLACE, SPACE, AND IMMIGRANT CITIES4
POSC 4210SEMINAR: STATE, FAMILY, AND SOCIETY4
POSC 4215SEMINAR: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS4
PSYC 3600MULTICULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY4
PSYC 3640CROSS-CULTURAL-PSYCHOLOGY4
PSYC 3700HUMAN SEXUALITY4
PSYC 3730MEN AND MASCULINITIES4
PSYC 4310AGING AND SOCIETY4
PSYC 4340LAW AND PSYCHOLOGY4
PSYC 4920YOUTH, VALUES, AND SOCIETY4
SOCI 1025SOCIOLOGY OF AMERICAN CULTURE3
SOCI 2420SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF RACE AND ETHNICITY4
SOCI 2505RELIGION AND SOCIAL CHANGE4
SOCI 2701INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE4
SOCI 2925MEDIA, CRIME, SEX, AND VIOLENCE4
SOCI 2965SCIENCE FICTION AND SOCIAL CRISIS4
SOCI 3136INEQUALITY-WHY/EFFECTS4
SOCI 3140OLD AND NEW MINORITIES IN THE U.S.4
SOCI 3255SOCIOLOGY OF MEDIA4
SOCI 3401GENDER, CRIME, AND JUSTICE4
SOCI 3405GENDER, RACE, AND CLASS4
SOCI 3406RACE/SOCIAL CONSTRUCT4
SOCI 3409RACE AND GENDER IN VISUAL CULTURE4
SOCI 3426RACE, RACISM, AND WHITENESS4
SOCI 3456MODERN AMERICAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS4
SOCI 3500CONTEMPORARY FAMILY ISSUES4
SOCI 3502WORK, INEQUALITY, AND SOCIETY IN 21ST CENTURY AMERICA4
SOCI 3503WORK, FAMILY, AND GENDER4
SOCI 3507QUEER THEORY4
SOCI 3601URBAN POVERTY4
SOCI 3602URBAN SOCIOLOGY4
SOCI 3603URBAN AMERICA4
SOCI 3708LAW AND SOCIETY4
SOCI 3710VIOLENCE AND POLITICS4
SOCI 3711AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS4
SOCI 3714TERRORISM AND SOCIETY4
SOCI 3720MASS INCARCERATION4
SOCI 4105RELIGION, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY4
SOCI 4400GENDER, BODIES, AND SEXUALITY4
SOCI 4421DISABILITY, LITERATURE, CULTURE: NEUROLOGICAL, MENTAL, AND COGNITIVE DIFFERENCE IN CULTURE & CONTEXT4
SOCI 4902INTERNSHIP SEMINAR: COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS4
SOCI 4961URBAN ISSUES AND POLICIES4
SOCI 4970COMMUNITY SERVICE/SOCIAL ACTION4
SOCI 4971DILEMMAS OF THE MODERN SELF4
SPAN 3070THE LATIN-AMERICAN URBAN CHRONICLE4
SYMP 0010WEST WING ILC1
THEO 3375AMERICAN RELIGIOUS TEXTS3
THEO 3960RELIGION AND RACE IN AMERICA4
THEO 4013RELIGION AND AMERICAN POLITICS4
THEO 4025FUTURE OF MARRIAGE 21ST CENTURY4
THEO 4411RELIGION, THEOLOGY, AND NEW MEDIA4
THEO 4600RELIGION AND PUBLIC LIFE4
WGSS 3001QUEER THEORIES4
WGSS 3002FEMINIST AND WOMEN'S STUDIES4
WGSS 3341RACE, SEX, AND SCIENCE4
WGSS 3503WORK, FAMILY, AND GENDER4
WGSS 3826MODERN US WOMEN'S HISTORY4
WGSS 3931INTRODUCTION TO GAY AND LESBIAN LITERATURE4
WGSS 4105RELIGION, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY4
WGSS 4400GENDER, BODIES, SEXUALITY4

For more information

Visit the American Studies program web page.

AMST 2000. MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN AMERICAN CULTURE. (4 Credits)

An interdisciplinary history of American cultural traditions. Students will be introduced to major developments in American culture, arts, literature, folkculture, thought, and media. Course sets transformations in culture in the context of American political, social, religious, and economic history. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

Attribute: PLUR.

AMST 2800. AMERICAN LEGAL REASONING. (4 Credits)

An introduction to American legal reasoning through selected readings. For enrollment, please contact pre-law advisor Erin Burke at erburke@fordham.edu or the American Studies director at amerstudies@fordham.edu. Preference will be given to American Studies majors and pre-law students. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

Attribute: ASSC.

AMST 3100. INTRO TO AMERICAN CULTURE. (4 Credits)

An introduction to American culture with particular emphasis on the interdisciplinary aims and methods of American Studies. Junior level seminar usually taken in the first semester of junior year. Provides an overview of methods and texts used by different disciplines. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

AMST 3600. AMERICAN LEGAL REASONING. (4 Credits)

An introduction to American legal reasoning through selected readings. For enrollment, please contact pre-law advisor Erin Burke at erburke@fordham.edu or the American Studies director at amerstudies@fordham.edu. Preference will be given to American Studies majors and pre-law students. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

Attribute: ASSC.

AMST 3610. SPECIAL TOPICS: WOMEN AND AMERICAN COMEDY. (4 Credits)

This course explores the history of women and comedic performance in the U.S., from the vaudeville stage of the late nineteenth century to stand-up and the television situation comedy of the 20th and 21st century. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

AMST 3800. INTERNSHIP. (1-3 Credits)

AMST 4010. APPROACHES TO AMERICAN STUDIES. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the interdisciplinary perspectives and methods of American Studies. Class will explore the theme of characterizing and defining "America," with attention to how a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to this theme has shaped the field of American Studies. Students will also develop skills to analyze a wide range of primary materials from an interdisciplinary perspective. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

Attribute: ICC.

AMST 4500. THE SENIOR SEMINAR. (4 Credits)

A team-taught seminar, drawing on faculty in different areas of American Studies, the seminar provides a focused exploration of some aspect of American history and culture and forms the basis of the senior essay. During their senior year, all majors enroll in this course and, in consultation with the director of the program, research and write their senior thesis. American Studies senior majors only. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

AMST 4999. INDEPENDENT STUDY. (1-4 Credits)

Independent research and readings with supervision from a faculty member.