Expand the course offereings below to learn more about the class schedule, theme, cross listing, and major requirements.
Core American Studies courses
AMST 2001 – 100 – Intro to American Studies
MW 02:00PM-02:50PM | MRY 209
Matthew Hedstrom & Grace Hale
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 3001 – Theories & Methods of American Studies (3 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 9:30AM-10:45AM | BRN 235
TR 02:00PM-03:15PM | CAB 187
Fourth Year Seminars
AMST 4500 – 001 – Literature of the Americas
TR 11:00AM-12:15PM | CAB 115
Cross listed with ENGL 4545-001.
AMST 4500 – 002 – Reading the Black College Campus
T 5:00PM-7:30PM | GIB 211
K. Ian Grandison
Cross listed with ENGL 4570-002.
AMST 4559 – 001 – New Course: Queer Time and Space
TR 2:00PM-3:15PM | WIL 244
This course explores both the queer experiences of time and space, as well as time and space as analytics for queer studies. Topics will include queer futures, queer phenomenology, and the politics of nation and race.
AMST 4559 – 002 – New Course: Visualizing Racial Capitalism
W 3:30PM-6:00PM | BRN 235
This course will explore the interdisciplinary origins and coalescing definitions of racial capitalism, the relationship between racialization and visual culture, and the triangulation of image, class, and race in North American aesthetic production. Key terms we will engage include: labor, surveillance, interiority, fetish, settler-colonialism, property, and extraction.
AMST 4559 – 004 – New Course: Fire & Ice: Performances of Citizenship
W 3:30PM-6:00PM | CAB 064
FIRE & ICE: Performances of Citizenship examines U.S. immigration policy and carceral logics alongside a history of the movement to protect undocumented citizens and racially, religiously, and sexually marginalized groups. Throughout the course we will explore how citizenship is defined, deformed, and reimagined through the elements of fire and ice, as aesthetic form, institutional shapes, and key material in political struggle.
American Studies Electives
AMST 1050 – 1 – Slavery and Its Legacies
MW 02:00PM-03:15PM | CHM 206
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 2559 - 001 - New Course: Nonviolence in America: From “Civil Disobedience” to Civil Rights
TR 3:30PM-4:45PM | CAB 207
Has nonviolence worked in America? How did African Americans come to embrace nonviolence in their quest for justice during the civil rights movement? Is nonviolence entirely peaceful, or does it necessarily rely on some sort of force? What are the diverse religious roots of American nonviolence? How does nonviolence in America differ from nonviolence in other contexts? We will pursue these questions (and more) by tracing the development of overtly political nonviolence in the United States, culminating in the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr.
We will start by finding the roots of modern American nonviolence in the New Testament and in the abolition and anti-slavery movements of the Civil War Era. We will see women before, during, and after World War I make the first major trial of nonviolence in the United States in their successful campaign for the right to vote. With the goal of understanding how Christianity and Hinduism acted on each other to shape American nonviolence, we will see how Jesus (and Thoreau) influenced Gandhi, who in turn was to inspire and inform the Christian nonviolence of King and other civil rights leaders. After watching it sink to its nadir during World War II, we will watch (literally, on film, as well as figuratively, in print) nonviolence again rise to national and international prominence after 1955, when African Americans in the South used it to help wrest their civil and political rights from the grip of white supremacy and segregation. We will close with a look at nonviolence “today” (including recent history).
AMST 3200 – 001 – African American Political Thought
MW 2:00PM-2:50PM | MCL 1003
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.
Cross listed with PLPT 3200-001.
AMST 3280 – 001 – Intro to Native American Studies: (Mis) Representations
M 02:00PM-04:30PM | CAB 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.
Cross listed with ANTH 3280-001.Students cannot enroll in AMST 3280 if previously taken AMST 2559 topic 12: Intro to Native American Studies.
AMST 3300 – 001 – Introduction to Latinx Studies
TR 11:00AM-12:15PM | WIL 214
AMST 3300 offers students close study of significant texts and other cultural forms representing the perspective and contributions of the main Latinx populations in the United States--including those of Puerto Rican, Chicano, Dominican, Central American and Cuban American origin--in historical context and within a theoretical, analytical framework.
AMST 3323 – 001 – Hemispheric Latinx Literature & Culture
T 3:30PM-6:00PM | CAB 338
This course offers a survey of Latinx literature and film from a hemispheric perspective. Engaging texts from colonial times to the present day, we explore how the histories of the US, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia come together to produce novels, poems, essays and films that are now referred to as distinctly Latinx.
AMST 3471 – 001 – American Cinema
TR 9:30AM-10:45AM | CAB 489
This course provides an introduction to film studies through an examination of American film throughout the 20th & 21st centuries. We will learn basic film techniques for visual analysis, and consider the social, economic, and historical forces that have shaped the production, distribution & reception of film in the US Examples will be drawn from various genres: melodrama, horror, sci-fi, musical, Westerns, war films, documentary, animation, etc.
AMST 3559 – 001 – Jim Crow America
TR 2:00PM-3:15PM | CAB 395
Ian Grandison & Marlon Ross
Cross-listed with ENGL 3570-003
AMST 3559 – 002 – Multimedia Harlem Renaissance
TR 11:00AM-12:15PM | MRY 113
Cross-listed with ENGL 3572-001
AMST 3559 – 003 – Asian Americans & Popular Culture
M 3:30PM-6:00PM | CAB 187
Asian Americans and Popular Culture surveys a history of Asian American racialization, experiences, and subject formation in the United States through film, comics, TV, theatre, music, public protest, sports, and social media. Students will learn how to analyze and develop creative work to respond to and re/frame debates on the politics of representation, exoticization, cultural appropriation, transnationalism, hybridity, and US immigration laws.
AMST 3559 – 004 – Race, Gender, and Music
TR 3:30PM-4:45PM | CAB 207
This class explores the political connections between race, gender, and music. It will consider questions of representation, the practice and politics of listening, the political and economic modes of production, and racial formation.
AMST 3630 – 001 – Vietnam War in Literature and Film
TR 12:30PM-01:45PM | CAB 309
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.
Cross listed with ENGL 3924-001.
AMST 3790 – 001 – Moving On: Migration in/to the US
TR 12:30PM-01:45PM | BRN 235
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 3790-001.
AMST 5559 – 001 – The Oral History Workshop
M 3:30PM-6:00PM | BRN 203
Students will learn best practices in oral history methods and associated research practices for democratizing archives. We will also participate in the Piedmont Environmental Council’s ongoing project in collaboration with Black community groups documenting Black land ownership in the southwestern mountains of Albemarle County. Work with PEC staff to facilitate community conversations, record oral history interviews, and do related research.