American Studies (ASTD)

ASTD 1000 - Investigating America: An Introduction to American Studies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

What does it mean to be American? Is it citizenship or geographical location? Political ideals or shared culture? How does it change over time? This course introduces interdisciplinary methods to answer such questions, including analysis of images, literature, popular entertainment, and diverse experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and nation.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 1930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-4 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 1980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 2000 - Memoir and Life-writing in American Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course is an interdisciplinary examination of autobiography in the United States. Students draw from the methodologies of cultural studies, history, and literature to understand how Americans' impulse to tell stories about themselves changes, in terms of both form and medium.

ASTD 2100 - Studies in American Photography

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course introduces students to methodologies for studying American photography. Using foundational texts about photography and American Studies approaches to visual culture, we examine the cultural and political work that photographs perform at particular historical moments. We explore how photographs shape ideas about race, gender, class, nation, and citizenship.

Attributes: Fine Arts Requirement (A&S)

ASTD 2200 - American Homefronts, Global Wars

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This interdisciplinary course considers American social experiences during times of war. Throughout, we will study not the battles and factors that determined military outcomes, but the domestic struggles and international changes that have shaped American identity in a global context.

Attributes: Global Citizenship (A&S)

ASTD 2300 - Americans Abroad

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course explores the history of the modern United States' changing relationship with the world by tracing American activities on the global stage: as travelers, consumers, teachers, students, missionaries, soldiers, and workers. Students will examine global encounters and exchanges through a variety of primary sources, including film, photography, and memoir.

Attributes: Global Citizenship (A&S)

ASTD 2600 - American Places

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Through interdisciplinary analysis, research, and writing, this course examines the role of place in shaping American culture, including race and ethnicity, gender, and class. Places may include regions (like the South, Midwest, or West), cities or suburbs, sites like internment camps or reservations, or conceptual places like frontiers and borderlands.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 2700 - Gender, Race, Social Justice

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Examines the intersection of gender and race with other categories of analysis (class, religion, sexuality, nation) in historical and contemporary social justice movements in the United States. Topics include role of race in movements for gender equality, as well as the impact of gender on movements for racial justice.

Attributes: Urban Poverty - General, Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 2800 - Sports in American Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

What can watching a Cardinals game teach us about American culture? How do recreational facilities reflect or shape their local environments? Should celebrated athletes speak out on American politics? Are sports leisure or business? How have sporting contests functioned as allegories for national crises over race or gender? These questions and more form the center to this course, which uses sports as a lens to examine the diversity of American culture in terms of race, gender, sexuality, ability, and more.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 2900 - American Visual Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course will investigate how American visual culture has captured moments that have not only formed our collective historical memory, but defined, shaped, challenged, and contradicted our understanding of society. Examining visual media ranging from photographs to paintings, from television to film, from graphic novels to performance art, students will be introduced to contemporary American Studies approaches to visual analysis. Students will practice reading a variety of images and gain the ability to identify and utilize visual media in their own research and writing.

ASTD 2930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 2980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 3000 - American Decades

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Close examination of a brief span of time in America as a way to reflect on intertwining currents in social, political, and intellectual life. Students explore changes and continuities in religion, philosophy, consumption, popular culture, architecture, and daily life. Course provides intensive focus on primary sources and their interpretation.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3010 - Comparative Ethnic Studies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

The purpose of this course is to explore the ethnic diversity that has from the beginning been the material of American society, and to examine the implications of this diversity.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3020 - American Mosaic: Literature & Diversity

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course examines sites of actual and imagined geographies—tenements, reservations, fields, factories, ethnic enclaves—that produce ethnic literatures and articulate ethnic identities. The purpose of this course is to present a broad spectrum of ethnic American literature, and to put ethnic experiences and texts into dialogue with one another.

Attributes: Urban Poverty - Exclusion, Diversity in the US (A&S), Women's & Gender Studies

ASTD 3030 - History and Fiction

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

This course interrogates the boundary between history and fiction; it considers literary questions of 'historical' texts, and historical questions of 'literature' for the purpose of deepening our understanding of both history and fiction.

ASTD 3040 - Religion and U.S. Global Activism

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This class explores the American history of faith and international activism. We will analyze the aims, experiences, and ethical frameworks of U.S. missionaries, reformers, and relief workers. Case studies include Christian missionaries in nineteenth-century China, Jewish relief programs in World-War-I Europe, and current debates about global feminist advocacy.

Attributes: Global Citizenship (A&S)

ASTD 3050 - American Soundscapes

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

This course explores the role of popular music in American culture, examining how genres like the blues, jazz, country, rock, and hip-hop have provided far more than simple entertainment; indeed, for artists, fans, and critics, music has been an important mode of cultural and political expression, and meaning-making about race, gender, sexuality, and nation. Course may be repeated for credit with different subtitles.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3100 - Making the American City: Culture, Space, & 20th-century U.S. Urbanisms

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Course examines the cultural history of the U.S. city, 1880s-present. Using numerous primary sources, students will learn how urban cultures and representational practices are shaped by the changing city environment.

Attributes: Urban Poverty - Applied, Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3200 - The Urban Crisis

Credit(s): 0 or 3 Credits

This course examines the roots and dimensions of the urban crisis that has transformed American metropolitan areas since World War II. Students investigate major urban problems such as racial segregation and poverty, white flight and suburban sprawl, public housing and urban renewal, riots and insurrections, job loss, and industrial change.

Attributes: Urban Poverty - Applied, Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3300 - Workshop in the City

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Provides unique opportunity to study urban environments up close. The metropolitan region of St. Louis is an excellent case study, with its complex interplay of people, processes, neighborhoods, geographies, and natural features. Students will undertake individual and group projects, tours, and fieldwork exercises in consultation with the instructor.

Attributes: Urban Poverty - Applied

ASTD 3400 - Prisons in American Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Using history, social theory, film, fiction and autobiography, the course surveys the cultural history of incarceration in America, and examines the place of incarceration in American culture.

Attributes: Urban Poverty - Exclusion

ASTD 3500 - Religion & American Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course uses historical, literary, and popular culture sources to explore the relationship between diverse religious beliefs, values, and practices and American cultural formation. Topics may include church and state, social questions, and lived religious experience.

ASTD 3600 - American Food and Cultures

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course investigates American foodways through the lens of agriculture, labor, landscape, festival, the body, ethnicity, ethics, and gender. Its goals are to teach students about the meaning of food and how the simple act of eating can reveal interconnections among so many diverse aspects of society and the environment.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3700 - America in the Global Age

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course examines America's role in the era of rapid globalization, from the late 19th century to the present. It also considers the impact of major global events and processes on American society and culture, such as labor and capital mobility, third world insurgency, technological and environmental change.

ASTD 3800 - Women's Lives

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Examines the historical experiences and literary productions of women from diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Topics and sources considered may include: novels, diaries, letter-writing, temperance, abolition, suffrage, and political leadership.

ASTD 3900 - Mixed-Race America

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Despite popular images of American as a 'melting' both of races and ethnicities, our institutions, values, and practices have often tried to create or maintain spatial and social distance between groups defined as racially different. This course will explore that ways in which Americans have transgressed those boundaries or found other ways of interacting across cultural lines, primarily in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will examine popular cultural perceptions of people of mixed ancestry, their social experiences, the development of various mixed-ancestry communities, and historical attempts to limit interracial socializing, relationships, and marriage. These issues were and are deeply embedded in debates over the meaning of race, gender expectations and ideas about sex and sexuality. We will also pay close attention to how minority communities have understood people of mixed ancestry in the United States, and how mixed-race identities intersect with African American, Native American, Asian, White, and Latino identities.

Attributes: Diversity in the US (A&S)

ASTD 3910 - Service Learning Internship

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Designed to enable students to make intellectual connections between scholarship and the wider world. Enrolled students intern with local non-profit organizations, government agencies, activist groups, or foundations. Students develop projects consistent with American Studies inquiry and concerns, methods of accountability, relevant mediagraphies, and final reports.

Attributes: Service Learning

ASTD 3930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 3980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 4000 - Introduction to Museum Studies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

In this class, we will study the history, politics, and design of museums. We will trace museums' development from private cabinets of curiosity to public educational institutions in the twentieth-first century. We will especially focus on the politics of display, that is, controversies over how museum interpret cultures and nature.

ASTD 4910 - Internship

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 4930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatability up to 12 credits)

ASTD 4960 - Senior Capstone

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course brings the major to a coherent end, through which students gain a broad understanding of the field and their path within it. Readings will concentrate on the development of major American Studies questions. The seminar will serve as a workshop for the independent senior projects. Senior major only.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a semester level of Senior.

ASTD 4980 - Advanced Independent Study

Credit(s): 0-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 5000 - Perspectives in American Studies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Survey of theoretical frameworks for the interpretation of American culture over time. Examines the intersection of history and theory in the interdisciplinary study of the American experience from colonial encounters to the present. Critical readings in Marxism, feminism, semiotics, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, race theory, and queer theory. Offered every year.

ASTD 5010 - African American Politics, Culture & Identity

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This interdisciplinary seminar explores politics, culture, and identity in African American experiences and public movements. Covering the mid-nineteenth century to the present, we will focus on activism, representation, and the multiple strategies within a diverse community, paying attention to issues of gender, class, religion, region, and national identity.

ASTD 5020 - Frontiers & Borderlands: Contact & Conquest in the American Imagination

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Examines the diverse meanings of the 'frontier' in American culture: as a physical and metaphorical site of cultural exchange, ambiguity, and conflict. The course focuses on the interactions between European explorers, traders and settlers, Native Americans, and African migrants to North America.

ASTD 5030 - Women's Lives

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Examines the historical experiences and literary productions of women from diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Topics and sources considered may include: novels, diaries, letter-writing, temperance, abolition, suffrage, and political leadership.

ASTD 5100 - Early American Photography

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Introduces students to early American photographers, diverse photographic trends and technologies of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the visual culture analysis of major scholars in American Studies. Critical attention to representations of race and gender is emphasized throughout. Offered every other year.

ASTD 5200 - Material Culture Studies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

In this course, students study the theory and practice of material culture studies. Students learn how to use objects as primary sources and to decipher ideas and meanings embedded in a variety of artifacts. Students will put theory to practice by working with material objects and creating an exhibition.

ASTD 5300 - Cultures of the American South

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Using fiction, film, history, literary criticism, music, and autobiography, the course identifies and investigates elements of the South's distinctiveness as well as the relation between the region and the Nation of which it forms a part. Specific topics include Southern fiction, race and slavery, and images of the South in American cultural expression. Offered every other year.

ASTD 5400 - Tocqueville's America

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course studies the culture of pre-Civil War America with emphasis on the 1830's and 1840's. The central text is Tocqueville's Democracy in America through which the course investigates his perspectives on American culture. Other assigned readings help the student to understand the politics and culture of this era in more detail. Offered occasionally.

ASTD 5500 - American Autobiographies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Because the autobiographical act itself is essentially an interdisciplinary one, an examination of American autobiographies from the past several hundred years can be an especially intimate way to get inside the ongoing reality of American culture. Contemporary theories of autobiography are studied and critiqued in this course. Offered occasionally.

ASTD 5600 - America: Readings of the Middle Passage

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Undoubtedly, all who experienced the Middle Passage were change irreversibly. This course explores how this passage participated in the invention of both blackness and whiteness. Topics include the ongoing importance of the transatlantic experience to current American discussions of race, culture, migration, exile, holocaust and memory, and nation and citizenship. Offered every other year.

ASTD 5700 - Metropolitan America

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Introduction to the study of American urban and suburban life. Course examines American cities, their cultures, and their built environments as these change over time. Students engage scholarship, develop visual literacy for 'reading' the metropolis, and analyze the ways in which built environments shape and reflect American cultural meaning.

ASTD 5800 - Workshop in the American Metropolis

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course provides an opportunity for graduate students to conduct intensive field study in the metropolis. St. Louis provides an excellent case study, with its complex interplay of people, processes, neighborhoods, industries, and natural features. Students undertake individual and group projects, tours, and fieldwork exercises in consultation with the instructor.

ASTD 5900 - Practice of American Studies

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Facilitates sound professional development to accompany graduate work in American Studies. Students analyze universities as diverse social institutions, review key aspects of academic labor, examine the purposes and stages of graduate training, and survey the broad range of professional options available with the M.A. and the Ph.D.

ASTD 5910 - Graduate Internship

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Specific requirements vary depending on the site of the internship and the individual contract for that internship. Grading is the same as for a seminar.

ASTD 5930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 5980 - Graduate Reading Course

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits

Graded as a seminar course.

ASTD 5990 - Thesis Research

Credit(s): 0-6 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

6 hours for students writing a Master's thesis. Required while students are working on their research and writing. Students must meet with advisor at least once per semester when taking thesis hours. Grade is either IP or U, except for the semester in which the student graduates, when the grade is S. Students aren't always enrolled in 599 in the semester when they graduate, but normally they would be.

ASTD 6000 - Mythbusting and Mythmaking in Recent American Studies Scholarship

Credit(s): 3 Credits

In this seminar we examine two areas of American mythmaking, one surrounding the Vietnam War, the other concerning the Civil War and its aftermath. We also visit other precincts of Mythland; and students identify one mythic construct and critique it their own original scholarship.

ASTD 6010 - American Studies Interdisciplinary Seminar

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course examines topics of American social history from an interdisciplinary perspective. Past topics: Utopian Communities; United States at the Turn of the Century (1880-1912). Offered every year.

ASTD 6020 - American Political Thought

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course focuses on selected ideas, issues, and institutions that have been central to the U.S. Constitution and the practice of American constitutionalism, from the founding era to the present. Readings emphasize seminal works in American political thought, which are supplemented by historical accounts, illustrative literature, and contemporary analyses. Offered every year.

ASTD 6030 - Leadership & Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Focuses on how culture both constrains and empowers leaders as they attempt to influence various publics. Students examine political leaders and leaders of social movements, primarily in U.S. history, with an eye toward the connections between their policies, their rhetoric, and the institutional and cultural contexts in which they acted.

ASTD 6100 - Dissertation Colloquium

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course is designed to facilitate the dissertation-writing process. Seminar discussions will focus on peer review of student generated works-in-progress. Required of all Ph.D. students. May be repeated for credit at adviser's discretion.

ASTD 6200 - Visual Culture Theory

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Introduction to the theoretical models and questions that inform the wide-ranging critical practices of visual culture studies. Course examines foundational texts in visual theory as well as many different cultural forms available to visual cultural analysis such as vision itself, material culture, museums, photographs, films, and television. Offered every other year.

ASTD 6250 - The Cultural Studies Movement: Origins and Contemporary Practice

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Seminar covers the rise of cultural studies and its influence on American Studies and related disciplines. After examining the development of British cultural studies as an intellectual movement, participants explore theoretical approaches characterizing distinct phases of cultural studies research, while engaging with American Studies works that continue or challenge this tradition. Offered occasionally.

ASTD 6300 - Jazz, Cities, and Social Movements

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Explore jazz's significance to American cultural, social, and political history, with particular attention to various musical communities' engagements with race, gender, artistic hierarchies, and economic systems. Within this framework, participants examine in detail two relationships: that between jazz and particular urban spaces; and that between jazz and U.S. social movements.

ASTD 6400 - Transnational America

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This graduate course introduces students to the history, the intellectual trajectories, and the institutional impact of the 'transnational turn' in American Studies and related scholarship. Focusing on 19th- 20th-century cultural, economic, political, and religious encounters in Africa, Asia, and Europe, we will investigate the varied manifestations of U.S. global engagement in the world.

ASTD 6500 - Visions of U.S. Empire

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course will familiarize students with theoretical approaches to, and key studies of, empire and imperialism in U.S. history and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. We will explore the imperial at home and abroad, and pay particular attention to literature, gender, policy, and visual culture.

ASTD 6600 - Topics in American Urbanism

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Intensive study of a topic in American urban culture, society, theory, or criticism. The course is framed as an interdisciplinary inquiry, with a mix of scholarly texts and primary sources. Through focus on a single topic, students consider basic questions about the nature, experience, and quality of American urban life.

ASTD 6650 - Civil Rights, Activism, and Cultural Memory

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Recent historical and cultural studies scholarship has challenged almost every aspect of our collective narrative of the civil rights movement. Continuing debates over the roles of women, gender, class, race, religion, and region bring new interpretations to the strategies of activists and the multiple levels of campaigns against segregation and discrimination. The Civil Rights movement is now Long, or is it still short: was it New, or was it a direct development from activism in the early twentieth-century, was a Southern phenomenon or also a Northern one? Did men lead and women organize?.

ASTD 6700 - From Satchmo to Strangelove: Cold War Cultural Politics and the 'American Century''

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This graduate seminar explores the culture of the Cold War era in the United States from 1947 to 1963. In particular, we will examine the ways in which political and international forms of conflict shaped American society in areas ranging from shifting gender configurations to new forms of youth culture, artistic ideologies to the transformation of urban a suburban space, evolving racial formations to the politics of mass culture.

ASTD 6800 - Edibles are Fun to Think With: American Food & Culture

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This class studies food production and consumption through themes such as labor, environment, gender, ethnicity, globalization, identity, and power. The course's goal is to learn about the meaning of food and how the simple act of eating can reveal interconnections among so many diverse aspects of society and the environment.

ASTD 6900 - Public Art & Memory

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course investigates the politics and aesthetics of public art. Students learn to use art and commemoration to explore broader political and community issues, to understand how history and art have been used to create, perpetuate, or fight for national and/or cultural identities, and to interpret and identify artistic styles.

ASTD 6910 - Graduate Internship

Credit(s): 1-6 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Specific requirements vary depending on the site of the internship and the individual contract for that internship. Grading is the same as for a seminar.

ASTD 6930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

ASTD 6980 - Graduate Reading Course

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Graded as a seminar course.

ASTD 6990 - Dissertation Research

Credit(s): 0-9 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

12 hours for students writing a dissertation. Required while students are working on their research and writing. Students must meet with advisor at least once per semester when taking dissertation hours. Grade is either IP or U, except for the semester in which the student graduates, when the grade is S. Students aren't always enrolled in 699 in the semester when they graduate, but they may be.