Expand the course offereings below to learn more about the class schedule, theme, cross listing, and major requirements.
American Studies Courses
AMST 1050 – 1 – Slavery and Its Legacies
MW 02:00PM-03:15PM | Maury Hall 104
Kirt von Daacke
This course examines the history of slavery and its legacy at UVA and in the central Virginia region. The course aims to recover the experiences of enslaved individuals and their roles in building and maintaining the university, and to contextualize those experiences within Southern history.
AMST 2001 – 100 – Intro to American Studies
MW 02:00PM-02:50PM | Maury Hall 209
Matthew Hedstrom & Jack Hamilton
This course introduces students to American Studies, the interdisciplinary study of US culture. Students will be exposed to the three main categories of American Studies methods, historical analysis, close analysis, and fieldwork and to a broad variety of cultural forms, including films, photographs, music, sermons, journalism, fiction, speeches, court decisions, government documents, and web-based materials including social media sites.
AMST 3200 – 001 – African American Political Thought
TR 11:00AM-12:15PM | Bryan Hall 235
This course explores the critical and the constructive dimensions of African American political thought from slavery to the present. We will assess the claims that black Americans have made upon the polity, how they have defined themselves, and how they have sought to redefine key terms of political life such as citizenship, equality, freedom, and power.
AMST 3221 – 001 – Hands-On Public History
R 03:30PM-06:00PM | New Cabell Hall 032
The presentation of history to the public--at historic sites, museums, databases--is "public history." This class investigates the public history of slavery in Virginia with readings, research, and tours of historic sites. Students work with GIS specialists in Scholars' Lab; Special Collections curators; and local groups using new technologies to document hidden or erased histories of African American life.
AMST 3280 – 001 – Intro to Native American Studies: (Mis) Representations
TR 02:00PM-03:15PM | New Cabell Hall 323
An intro to the broad field of Native Studies, this class focuses on themes of representation and erasure. We read Indigenous scholars and draw from current events, pop culture, and historical narrative to explore complex relationships between historical and contemporary issues that Indigenous peoples face in the US. We examine the foundations of Native representations and their connections to critical issues in Native communities.
Students cannot enroll in AMST 3280 if previously taken AMST 2559 topic 12: Intro to Native American Studies
AMST 3630 – 001 – Vietnam War in Literature and Film
TR 12:30PM-01:45PM | Bryan Hall 235
In the US, Vietnam signifies not a country but a lasting syndrome that haunts American politics and society, from foreign policy to popular culture. But what of the millions of Southeast Asian refugees the War created? What are the lasting legacies of the Vietnam War for Southeast Asian diasporic communities? We will examine literature and film (fictional and documentary) made by and about Americans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, and Hmong.
AMST 3880 – 100 – Literature of the South
MW 01:00PM-01:50PM | Wilson Hall 301
Analyzes selected works of literature by major Southern writers.
Cross listed with ENGL 3710-100.
Theories & Methods of American Studies
AMST 3001 – Theories & Methods of American Studies (2 sections)
This seminar course will introduce majors to various theories and methods for the practice of American Studies. The three goals of the seminars are (1) to make students aware of their own interpretive practices; (2) to equip them with information and conceptual tools they will need for advanced work in American Studies; and (3) to provide them with comparative approaches to the study of various aspects of the United States.
Prerequisites: American Studies Major.
TR 12:30PM-01:45PM | New Cabell Hall 407
TR 09:30AM-10:45AM | New Cabell Hall 064
Topics in American Studies
AMST 3500 – 001 – Asian American Media Cultures
TR 02:00PM-03:15PM | New Cabell Hall 485
This course examines the diverse production by and representations of Asian Americans and their influences on U.S. media cultures that include film, television, literature, and social media platforms. We explore how Asian Americans shape and intersect with discussions about race, gender, nationality, migration and technology and the evolution of media stereotypes that range from the “model minority” and “the tiger mother” to the “techno-geek”.
Please note there are limited spots for AMST majors; if you are an APAS minor interested in enrolling in this course, please email Shilpa Dave (email@example.com).
New Courses in American Studies
AMST 2559 – 001 – War and Memory in Asian American Literature
T 3:30PM-6:00PM | New Cabell Hall 058
This course explores how Asian American writers confront the memory of war. We'll focus on literary representations of the Philippine-American War, Japanese American incarceration, the Korean War, and Vietnam War by "postmemory" Asian American writers, i.e., the generation after who write not through direct recollection but through an imaginative investment and creation. What forms of representation do these writers invent to remember the war and uncover the silences and gaps in the historical record? What are the ethical and political limits of memorializing a war one did not directly live through? And what role does postmemory serve for collective identification, mourning, reckoning, and reconstruction around these wars? Authors we'll read include: Carlos Bulosan, Gina Apostol, Mitsuye Yamada, Brandon Shimoda, Susan Choi, Don Mee Choi, Viet Thanh Nguyen, lê thị diễm thúy, Kosal Khiev, Mai Der Vang, Anthony Veasna So.
AMST 3559 – 001 – Black Protest Narrative
TR 11:00AM-12:15PM | New Cabell Hall 485
AMST 3559 – 002 – Race, Inequality, and the American City
F 9:00AM-11:30AM | Campbell Hall 153
Cross listed with PLAN 3011-001, PLAN 6011-001, and ARH 6011-001.
AMST 3559 – 003 – Race and Ethnicity in Latina/o Lit and Culture
TR 02:00PM-03:15PM | New Cabell Hall 303
AMST 3559 – 004 – Moving On: Migration in/to the US
TR 12:30PM-01:45PM | Maury Hall 113
This class examines the history of voluntary, coerced, and forced migration in the U.S., tracing the paths of migrating groups and their impact on urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. We’ll dig for cultural clues to changing attitudes about migration over time. Photographs, videos, books, movies, government records, poems, podcasts, paintings, comic strips, museums, manifestos: you name it, we’ll analyze it for this class.
Cross listed with ENGL 3559-001.
Fourth Year Seminars
AMST 4500 – 002 – Reading the Black College Campus
R 5:00PM-7:30PM | Maury Hall 115
K. Ian Grandison
AMST 4500 – 003 – History of Black Resistance in the United States
M 3:30PM-6:00PM | Online Synchronous
The course explores some of the significant Black resistance movements in the U.S., from the slave uprisings of the antebellum era to the present-day racial justice movement sparked by George Floyd's death. The seminar aims to introduce the History of Resistance and unpack various events and perspectives of the African American community to show how racism, politics, and economics influenced black resistance and how the continued ignoring of these issues further marginalizes people of color. Through case studies, various topics will be covered to give context to the movements, such as gender, education, race, sexuality, and politics. Additionally, primary and secondary sources, movies, images, and short films will be discussed in this course. Students are expected to complete an independent project.
AMST 4321 – 001 – Caribbean Latinx: Cuba, Puerto Rico and the DR
R 03:30PM-06:00PM | New Cabell Hall 044
In this course we will read texts by Latinx writers from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. We will explore how their works speak to issues of race, colonialism and imperialism based on their individual and shared histories. We will discuss their different political histories and migration experiences and how these in turn impact their literary and artistic productions in the US.
AMST 4559 – 001 – Democratizing the Past: Hands on Approach
T 03:30PM-06:00PM | New Cabell Hall 183
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about people, important events, and everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of interviews with individuals having personal knowledge of past events. This course utilizes a hands-on, studio approach to oral history as a practice that enables us to create more democratic archives and understandings of the past.
Cross listed with HIUS 4559-001