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American Studies

Minor in American Studies

The field of American studies extends across a broad spectrum of disciplines to offer integrating perspectives on American experience, thought, and expression. In this respect, American studies is decidedly interdisciplinary in its approaches, but at the same time it is very much a field unto itself, generating its own lines of inquiry concerning the American cultural mosaic. The minor in American studies offers students the opportunity to understand the American experience in a broader context than is usually possible through the study of a single discipline. More specifically, it provides students with courses that focus on matters that have been traditionally at issue in the study of American civilization and culture.

A minor in American Studies (AMST) requires satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • completion of properly distributed credit hour requirements for the baccalaureate degree in effect when the student was admitted to their home school,
  • completion of 15 credit hours, with a minimum grade of C in each course,
  • to declare the minor, complete the School of Liberal Arts online declaration form: https://liberalarts.iupui.edu/admissions/update-major-form.html

Prerequisite for the minor is HIST-H 105 and H 106: American History I and II, or else evidence of historical knowledge of American cultures (consult the department regarding what counts as acceptable evidence).

Minor Requirements:

  • AMST-A 101: Introduction to American Studies (3 cr.)
  • AMST-A 301: The Question of American Identity (3 cr.)
  • AMST-A 302: The Question of American Community (3 cr.)

Two additional courses at the 300 or 400 level offered under the American Studies rubric or cross-listed in American Studies (6 cr.)-- see list below

  • AMST-A 499: Senior Tutorial in American Studies (3 cr.)

Choose from the following courses:

Africana Studies

All AFRO courses at 300-level or higher


  • ANTH–A 337: African American Health Care (3 cr.)
  • ANTH–E 316: Prehistory of North America (3 cr.)
  • ANTH–E 320: Indians of North America (3 cr.)
  • ANTH–E 336: African American Culture (3 cr.)
  • ANTH–E 354: Popular Culture (3 cr.)
  • ANTH–E 384: The African Diaspora (3 cr.)
  • ANTH–E 403: Women of Color in the US (3 cr.)


  • ENG–L 351: Critical and Historical Study of American Literature I (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 352: Critical and Historical Study of American Literature II (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 354: Critical and Historical Study of American Literature III (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 355: American Novel: Cooper to Dreiser (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 358: Twentieth-Century American Fiction (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 363: American Drama (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 370: Black American Writing (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 372: Contemporary American Fiction (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 373: Interdisciplinary Approaches to English and American Literature I
  • ENG–L 374: Interdisciplinary Approaches to English and American Literature II
  • ENG–L 379: American Ethnic and Minority Literature (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 406: Topics in African American Literature (3 cr.)
  • ENG–L 431: Topics in Literary Study (3 cr.) (subject to approval of AMST advisor)
  • ENG–L 440: Senior Seminar in English and American Literature (3 cr.) (subject to approval of AMST advisor)
  • ENG–L 495: Individual Readings in English (1-3 cr.) (subject to approval of AMST advisor)


  • FILM–C 393: History of European and American Films I (3 cr.)
  • FILM–C 394: History of European and American Films II (3 cr.)


  • FOLK–F 354: African American Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music (3 cr.)
  • FOLK–F 356: Chicano Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music (3 cr.)
  • FOLK–F 360: Indiana Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music (3 cr.)


  • GEOG–G 314: Urban Geography (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 323: Geography of Latin America (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 324: Geography of the Caribbean (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 326: Geography of North America (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 327: Geography of Indiana (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 328: Rural Landscapes of North America (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 330: North American House Types (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 334: Field Geography of North America (3 cr.)
  • GEOG–G 363: Landscapes and Cultures of the Caribbean (3 cr.)


  • HIST–A 301: Colonial and Revolutionary America I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 302: Colonial and Revolutionary America II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 303: United States, 1789–1865 I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 304: United States, 1789–1865 II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 312: The North and South at Peace and War (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 313: Origins of Modern America, 1865–1917 (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 314: United States History, 1917–1945 (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 315: United States History since World War II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 317: American Social History, 1865 to Present (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 321: History of American Thought I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 322: History of American Thought II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 325: American Constitutional History I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 326: American Constitutional History II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 327: American Legal History I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 328: History of Work in America (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 337: American Frontier I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 338: American Frontier II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 341: United States Women's History I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 342: United States Women's History II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 345: American Diplomatic History I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 346: American Diplomatic History II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 347: American Urban History (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 348: Civil War and Reconstruction (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 352: History of Latinos in the United States (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 355: African-American History I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 356: African-American History II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 363: Survey of Indiana History (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 364: History of Black Americans (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 371: History of Indiana I (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 372: History of Indiana II (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 390: Representative Americans (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 402: Readings in American Environmental History (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 410: American Environmental History (3 cr.)
  • HIST–A 421: Topics in United States History (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 341: Latin America: Conquest and Empire (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 342: Latin America: Evolution and Revolution since Independence (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 346: Modern Mexico (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 347: History of United States–Latin American Relations (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 431: Nineteenth-Century Latin American Intellectual History (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 432: Twentieth-Century Latin American Revolutions (3 cr.)
  • HIST–F 444: History of Mexico (3 cr.)
  • HIST–H 306: Sex Roles and Society in American History (3 cr.)


  • PHIL–P 356: American Indian Philosophies (3 cr.)
  • PHIL–P 448: Seminar in American Philosophy (3 cr.)
  • PHIL–P 458: American Philosophy (3 cr.)

Political Science

  • POLS–Y 301: Political Parties and Interest Groups (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 303: Policy-Making in the US (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 304: Constitutional Law, and Constitutional Rights and Liberties (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 305: Constitutional Law, and Constitutional Rights and Liberties (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 306: State Politics in the United States (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 307: Indiana State Government and Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 308: Urban Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 309: American Politics through Film and Fiction (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 310: Political Behavior (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 318: The American Presidency (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 319: The United States Congress (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 320: Judicial Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 321: The Media and Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 337: Latin American Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 360: U.S. Foreign Policy (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 377: Globalization (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 383: Foundations of American Political Thought (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 384: Development of American Political Thought (3 cr.)
  • POLS–Y 480: Undergraduate Readings in Political Science (1-6 cr.) (subject to approval of AMST advisor)
  • POLS–Y 481: Field Experience in Political Science (3-6 cr.) (subject to approval of AMST advisor)

Religious Studies

  • REL–R 312: American Religious Lives (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 313: Religion and American Ideas (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 314: Religion and Racism (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 328: Afro-Diasporic Religions (TBD cr.)
  • REL–R 339: Varieties of American Religion (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 363: African-American Religions (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 367: American Indian Religions (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 370: Islam in America (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 383: Religions, Ethics, U.S. Society (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 384: Religions, Ethics, and Health (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 386: The Ethics of Consumption (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 398: Women in American Indian Religions (3 cr.)
  • REL–R 400: Studies in Religion (3 cr.) (subject to approval of AMST advisor)


  • SOC–R 325: Gender and Society (3 cr.)
  • SOC–R 329: Urban Sociology (3 cr.)
  • SOC–R 430: Families and Social Policy (3 cr.)
  • SOC–R 476: Social Movements (3 cr.)

World Languages and Cultures

  • GER–G 401: Deutsche Kultur in Amerika (3 cr.)
  • SPAN–S 231: Spanish-American Fiction in Translation (3 cr.)

Additional variable topics courses not listed here may be counted toward the American studies major. Please check with the American studies advisor about the eligibility of particular courses to count as an American studies elective.

Accelerated Second Degree: The Liberal Arts baccalaureate competencies are waived for undergraduate students whose first major is outside the School of Liberal Arts and whose second major is a Bachelor of Arts degree from the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Students are only required to complete the courses in their major of choice in Liberal Arts. The IUPUI General Education Core or the Indiana transferable general education core must be successfully completed. Students must complete the degree outside Liberal Arts in order to have the Liberal Arts baccalaureate competencies waived for degree completion. The Liberal Arts baccalaureate competencies are only waived for students who actively pursue and complete another degree program outside of Liberal Arts.


  • AMST-A 101 Introduction to American Studies (3 cr.) This course introduces the interdisciplinary methods of American Studies and how they enable better understanding of American cultures and ideas. Questions of race, ethnicity, nation, nationality, class, gender, sexuality, and religion are considered in relation to American identities and communities. 
  • AMST-A 102 Asian-American Studies (3 cr.) This course seeks to foster an understanding of issues related to race in general and to Asians Americans in particular. Contributing to this understanding will be discussions of Asian American history, stereotypes, racism and oppression, refugees, racial identity development, and diversity within the Asian communities of the U.S. Discussions of the varied, lived experiences of Asians in the U.S. will be utilized to gain insights into how Asian Americans fit into the racial narrative of American culture. 
  • AMST-A 103 Topics in American Studies (1-3 cr.) Interdisciplinary consideration of various American studies topics sometimes coordinated with symposia and/or conferences sponsored by the IUPUI Center for American Studies. A103 cannot be counted as credit toward an American studies minor. 
  • AMST-A 301 The Question of American Identity (3 cr.) Is American culture unified or does it consist of a potpourri of more or less distinct cultures? Beginning with the 1600s but emphasizing the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this course explores classic texts in American culture, seeking to locate the terms of American unity in the midst of obvious diversity. 
  • AMST-A 302 The Question of American Community (3 cr.) What are the varieties and forms of American social life? This course will explore the manner in which Americans, from Puritan times through the later decades of the twentieth century, have structured and experienced social life in rural, urban, and suburban settings. 
  • AMST-A 303 Topics in American Studies (1-3 cr.) Interdisciplinary consideration of various American studies topics. Usually, but not always, coordinated with symposia and/or conferences sponsored by the IUPUI Program for American Studies. 
  • AMST-A 304 The Transformation of America 1960–1980 (3 cr.) America in the years from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan. An examination of such topics as the myth of Camelot, the civil rights movement and the subsequent black uprising, Vietnam and its aftermath, the rise of counterculture, campus unrest and the student movement, the road to Watergate and the retreat into narcissism, the pervasive influence of television, and the rise of neo-conservatism. Also, consideration of the literature: modernism and fabulism in fiction, social and cultural criticism, and the new journalism in nonfiction. 
  • AMST-A 341 Organizing for Social Action (3 cr.) In this course we will study the social movements of the past and meet the activists who are working for social justice today. We will learn about the history of American protest from pre-Revolutionary days to the present in order to understand how mass organizations are created and how they can be used to realize the American ideals of liberty, equality, justice, peace, and opportunity for all. Emphasis throughout is on bridging the academic perspective of the classroom with the practical concerns of different communities. This will be a traveling seminar, moving between the classroom and the world outside. Our class may meet at the site of a labor, senior, or other community organization, hosted by a representative of that organization. Other weeks, the organizers will come to us. Students have the option of participating in a service-learning project and reflecting on the connections between assigned readings and the practice of organizing. Our central question will be: what can the social-action organizations of the past and present teach us about the possibilities for progressive social change in our world today? 
  • AMST-A 353 Music and Decorative Arts in American Studies (3 cr.) Examines music and the decorative arts in American history from pre-Colonial Times to after World War II.  
  • AMST-A 354 Literature of Rock 'N Roll (3 cr.) What constitutes the literature of rock music? Some would say that a three-paragraph review of the latest CD in Rolling Stone is the best and perhaps only example. But what about the countless books, essays, articles and other extended works that have been written about this music? How (and why?) is it possible, for example, to use rock music as the framework for a written discourse on American history (and in such discourse, suggest a logical, relevant connection between Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley?) How could an extended review of a rock 'n' roll album transform itself (logically and correctly) into first-rate political and social commentary? All of these questions and many more will be addressed in this course, as we explore the "written word of rock 'n' roll" in all its wonderfully complex and fascinating permutations. 
  • AMST-A 355 Beat Generation (3 cr.) Get hip and be cool with "The Beat Generation". Explore a uniquely American literary and cultural movement that sought to defy societal rules in an explosive mixture of music, literature and art. Setting precedents the hippies of the 1960's would later follow, the "Beats" were the original American rebels. Go "on the road" as you take a semester-length virtual road trip across America, a mind-expanding journey into emotion, sensation, music, art and the philosophy of experience. Dig it!  
  • AMST-A 356 American Supernatural (3 cr.) Belief in the supernatural has been an important component of American culture since the founding of the country. From the Salem Witch Trials to The Amityville Horror and from the stories of Edgar Allen Poe to the television series Lost, there seems to be no limit to Americans appetite for myths and legends that deal with the fantastic, otherworldly or otherwise unbelievable. This course will examine several aspects of this cultural fascination with the supernatural, from the mystery of "Area 51" to the legends of the delta blues singers. Along the we'll examine larger questions, such as: Why is belief in the supernatural of continuing relevance to American culture? How does the popular and new media (especially the Internet) perpetuate this belief, and is there a danger in doing so? To what extent are the American character and its definition of identity shaped by the belief in the supernatural? 
  • AMST-A 363 American Cyber Identity (3 cr.) This course examines the blurred lines between not just the physical and virtual world, but our physical and virtual self-identification. It considers challenging questions-and intriguing possibilities-about how we define ourselves when the physical, spatial and temporal limitations of "the real world" are lifted. It will look at the processes or strategies we use to define ourselves as we spend more time online by means of increasingly sophisticated technology, what level of importance are we giving to our sense of American self-identity in the online world (from a historical, social and cultural perspective)? Is it possible to interpret the Constitution to help adjudicate virtual "property disputes"? Are the rights of avatars "self-evident"? And, when we "jack in" (to borrow a term from Gibson’s Neuromancer) to the Internet, how much of our American history and culture do we take with us? 
  • AMST-A 391 Theories and Methods of American Studies (3 cr.) P: AMST-A 103. The course clarifies the nature of American studies as a field of inquiry and helps students develop skills in cultural interpretation, interdisciplinary inquiry, and clear and effective written communication. The course examines the concept of culture and processes through which cultures form, change, and propagate. The course also considers the ideas of cultural pluralism, subculture, and multiculturalism. The course considers historical and contemporary methods of inquiry in American studies, providing students opportunities to apply these methods in research projects. 
  • AMST-A 497 Overseas Study, Derby, UK (1-4 cr.) Students participating in the exchange program with the University of Derby, UK, must register for sections of this course to receive credit for their work at the partner institution. The title of the course taken at Derby will appear on the student's transcript under this course number. Consent of instructor required. 
  • AMST-A 499 Senior Tutorial in American Studies (3 cr.) This course provides students with the opportunity to pursue particular interests in American studies on topics of their choices and to work in a tutorial relationship with an American studies faculty member. In this course of directed study, students will be required to produce research projects for filing in the library. 
  • AMST-B 497 Overseas Study, Newcastle, UK (1-5 cr.) Students participating in the exchange program with the Newcastle University, UK, must register for sections of this course to receive credit for their work at the partner institution. The title of the course taken at Newcastle will appear on the student's transcript under this course number. Consent of instructor required.