Undergraduate Program

a one-of-a-kind learning experience

American Culture Studies (AMCS) is a multidisciplinary program that provides students with singular opportunities for in-depth mentorship and focused and comfortable learning environments.  AMCS teaches a deep understanding of American history, culture, and society across diverse complexities and issues.  Students explore topics in cultural studies that demand multiple perspectives and methodologies from the humanities and social sciences.  Students who major or minor in AMCS are part of a truly unique program organized around enriching learning experiences and an emphasis on issues of diversity, inequality, and identity in the American past and present.

AMCS offers a major and a minor, and students from any field or school can easily take these classes and move along the tracks.  Pairing the major with a second major in a complementary discipline is an enhancing model of cultural study, and AMCS works closely with students to ensure that double-majoring functions well.

AMCS gives majors considerable freedom in defining their course of study, allowing them to learn how cultural studies is done in the humanities and social sciences and in consideration of different historical periods and geographical regions.   AMCS offers especially attentive advising, helping students to have a cohesive experience and to pursue their specific interests within a diverse curriculum.

AMCS Opportunities

Lynne Cooper Harvey Writing Prize

Every year, AMCS seeks to recognize academic excellence with The Lynne Cooper Harvey Undergraduate Writing Prize, which acknowledges outstanding writing on a topic in American culture. The 2019 Writing Prize will be given to a student who has written an exemplary essay or research paper on an American subject in any AMCS course (home-based or cross-listed) in the Spring 2019 or Fall 2019 semester. The award carries a cash prize of five hundred dollars; it is presented at the annual AMCS Barbeque at the end of the school year.

More information about our writing prize
students walking

Lynne Cooper Harvey Undergraduate Scholars

The Harvey Undergraduate Scholars are vital members of the American Culture Studies community, serving as intellectual leaders and modeling innovative multidisciplinary research. They are asked to share their knowledge with the community in a variety of ways during their time as Scholars, including through involvement in a project or initiative that brings them into collaboration with others in the AMCS community. These projects should contribute substantially to the Scholar's learning AND to allow them to actively engage with and bolster the AMCS community.

more information about our scholars program

Examining America: A First-Year Ampersand Program

Examining America is a two-semester course sequence that introduces students to the multidisciplinary and critical study of American culture, history, politics, and society. In both semesters students gain a foundational understanding of course concepts, frameworks, and topics related to the formation of identities in the United States and across American imperialism, including issues of race and ethnicity, arts and performance, media and popular culture, and inequalities that shape the experiences, works, and lives of diverse populations.

Students who complete this Ampersand program will have special access to unique courses and experiences in the American Culture Studies Program in their sophomore year, including preference for enrollment in the new course "Current Affairs and Critical Issues in America" and opportunities to pursue creative, independent projects under the mentorship of program directors and staff.

learn more about our ampersand program

 

On Location: Exploring America

Every summer, AMCS travels to a new location to explore fundamental questions of national identity and meaning through the study of the interdependent relationship between culture and place. By visiting landmarks, historic sites, museums, memorials etc. -- sites best understood through direct engagement with consideration of their rich material, historical, political, and social meanings -- students become in-the-field observers and learn from local experts and faculty.

More information about On Location

Undergraduate Research

As an AMCS major, you have ample opportunities to conduct fieldwork or research of your own through our various programs. Some options available to you include:

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an immersive and multidisciplinary process that allows students to explore a cultural issue or topic in a "real world" context, whether through an approved course or an independent project. Fieldwork is an opportunity to learn vital research and analytical skills while gaining experience and exploring future careers. Learn more about the AMCS Fieldwork course, independent projects, and past student experiences by clicking the header.

Capstone Project

All AMCS majors complete a research-based Capstone Project during their senior year in which they explore a topic in American culture, drawing upon previous coursework and their experiences in AMCS 375A. The Capstone serves as an opportunity to extend and deepen cultural knowledge; to achieve a fuller understanding of the complex interplay of ideas, texts, values, discourses, etc. at work in a given cultural moment; and to develop vital research and project management skills. As the name suggests, the capstone is the culmination of work done in the program! Learn more about the capstone timeline, requirements, and browse an archive of student projects by clicking the header.

Contact

Have questions? Contact our undergraduate coordinator.

contact the undergraduate coordinator