American Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

American Studies is an individualized interdisciplinary major that offers undergraduates a unique opportunity to take advantage of the depth and breadth of Americanist scholarship and research on the campus in order to explore and understand the United States and its place in the globalizing world. American studies courses integrate a variety of subjects, methods, and materials from many academic disciplines, including the traditional blend of history and literature, as well as the social sciences, material culture, built environment, law, technology, urbanism, ecology, economy, and arts.

Declaring the Major

In order to declare the major, students with less than 60 units must complete AMERSTD 10 and one other lower division requirement. Students beyond 60 units must be enrolled in AMERSTD 10 and speak with a faculty adviser before being allowed to declare. For details on how to declare, please see the student academic adviser at 237 Evans Hall, 510-642-9320, or email amerstd@berkeley.edu.

Honors Program

Students who wish to be eligible to graduate with honors must enroll in the honors thesis seminar, AMERSTD H195. For admission to the course, students must have senior standing, an overall GPA of 3.51, and a GPA of 3.65 in the major. For further information, please contact the student academic adviser in 237 Evans Hall, 510-642-9320, or amerstd@berkeley.edu.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in American Studies.

Visit Program Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Summary of Degree Requirements

Lower Division Prerequisites: Four courses total
Upper Division Requirements: 30-36 units
Historical Requirement
Senior Thesis Requirement: Four units

Please see below for the specific details regarding these requirements.

Lower Division Prerequisites

The lower division prerequisites are meant to introduce the student to a variety of scholarly approaches to the study of American culture and society. In order to determine whether particular courses fulfills the prerequisites, please contact the American Studies student academic adviser in 237 Evans Hall or an American Studies faculty adviser.

AMERSTD 10Introduction to American Studies4
or AMERSTD 10AC Introduction to American Studies
Select three lower division courses that focus on the United States 1, 2
1

No more than three of these courses may be from the same department.

2

 Appropriate courses taken at other universities or community colleges may be substituted with faculty adviser approval.

Upper Division Requirements

30-36 units, distributed among the following:
Core Methods Courses: 6-8 units
Students are required to take one course each from the two methods series, "Examining US Cultures in Time" and "Examining US Cultures in Place." See the program's website for available courses every semester. It is expected that these courses will be completed during the junior year. Due to the unique interdisciplinary nature of the courses, these requirements should be satisfied at UC Berkeley.
Area of Concentration: minimum of six courses, 18-20 units 1
Upper division coursework drawn from the College of Letters & Science and the professional schools and colleges, in the student's individually articulated area of concentration. Areas of concentration may be highly individualized, depending on the student's intellectual focus, prior preparation, and the availability of courses. Students planning to declare the major should complete a four year plan, major application form and meet with a faculty adviser in their sophomore year or early in their junior year to plan their upper division program. Subsequently, this program can be revised with the approval of the faculty adviser.
1

The area of concentration must include courses from at least two different departments, but no more than three courses from any one discipline. The area may include courses from up to six different departments.

Historical Requirement

One of the courses taken to complete the American Studies major (either upper or lower division) must focus on US history, culture, and/or politics before 1900. Students should check with an American Studies student academic adviser to ensure that the course they take meets this requirement.

Senior Thesis Requirement

Because American Studies at UC Berkeley is an interdisciplinary program based on the major's own offerings and supplemented by individualized programs of study drawing on the resources of the whole campus, students in this major complete their work in the major with an interdisciplinary senior thesis. The thesis is intended to give students the opportunity to develop an extended analysis of a significant problem related to their area of concentration and to craft the essay into a finished piece of scholarly work. It is designed to give students a sense of competence and confidence in researching, framing, and completing an explicitly interdisciplinary project.

Select one of the following thesis course options:
Senior Seminar
Senior Thesis
Honors Thesis
A thesis course offered by another department 1
1

A thesis course from another department must be approved in advance by an American Studies faculty adviser. 

College Requirements

Undergraduate students in the College of Letters & Science must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide.

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

American Cultures

American Cultures is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units, including at least 60 L&S units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department

Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding EAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Mission

The goal of the American Studies interdisciplinary major is to enable students to learn a set of research, critical thinking, and written and oral communication skills that will enable them to become self-conscious and thoughtful investigators of American society. To meet this basic goal, our courses are designed to give students a basic understanding of American history, culture, political economy, social structures, and environment (both natural and constructed), as well as to enable them to use a range of concepts and methods to define and analyze significant problems, issues, and questions relating to American life. Through a close reading of diverse texts and physical and cultural materials, American Studies students learn how to critically analyze how individuals, groups, and a wide variety of political, economic, and cultural institutions have interacted to shape and give meaning to the American experience.

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Research Skills:
    • Students learn how to locate and evaluate primary source materials and secondary texts. These include published contemporary and historical documents, artifacts of material culture, landscape and architectural structures, visual and auditory media, oral history, and folklore.
  2. Critical Thinking Skills:
    • Students learn how to analyze and evaluate cultural texts including literature, performance, film, art, etc., and demonstrate a basic understanding of cultural theory and aesthetics (i.e., to understand and think critically about American society from a humanities perspective).
    • Students learn to critically analyze and evaluate social science arguments, demonstrating an understanding of the premises of qualitative and quantitative evidence (i.e., understand and think critically about American society from a social science perspective).
    • Students learn to analyze and understand the American past so as to gain perspective on and critical understanding of current issues and problems in American life (i.e., to understand and think critically about American society from an historical perspective, which by definition integrates humanities and social science approaches).
    • Students learn to critically analyze and interpret the meaning of American material culture and its built and natural environments (i.e., understand and think critically about American society from the perspectives of the knowledges embodied in the disciplines of geography, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental studies, and art).
  3. Written and Oral Communication Skills
    • Students learn how to communicate effectively in written form, demonstrating the ability to formulate a well organized argument supported by evidence.
    • Students learn how to communicate effectively orally, while demonstrating the ability to listen and respond to what others are saying.
  4. Specialized Knowledge
    • Time: Students gain in-depth, substantive knowledge about American life and culture in a particular year.
    • Place: Students gain in-depth, substantive knowledge about American life and culture in a particular city, region, or other place.
    • Students gain in-depth substantive knowledge about particular themes, issues, problems, and questions in American life and experience.
  5. Integrative Knowledge and Skills
    • Students demonstrate their mastery of all of the above skills by writing a Senior Thesis that is a focused interdisciplinary research project in their specialized area of concentration. 

Courses

American Studies

AMERSTD 5 Keywords in American Studies 1 Unit

Terms offered: Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2016 3 Week Session
Inspired by Raymond Williams’ classic text, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, and the recent Keywords of American Cultural Studies (Burgett and Hendler), this course will provide a short and focused introduction to central terms and debates in American Studies. The goal is: (1) to enable each student to develop a critical understanding of a key concept such as “Race,” “Representation,” “Class,” and “Democracy':
(2) allow students to become familiar with some of the major scholarly works on the keyword; and (3) introduce students to the kind of interdisciplinary inquiry that characterizes our American Studies program.

Keywords in American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 10 Introduction to American Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session
American culture and cultural change, with attention to the multicultural basis of American society and emphasis on the need for multiple methods of analysis. The course will consistently draw on the arts, material culture, and various fields affecting cultural production and meaning. Those areas include literature, film, history, architecture, history of art, religion, music, engineering, environmental studies, anthropology
, politics, economics, law, and medicine. This course may include discussion sections depending on available funding. Some versions of this course need four in-class contact hours because of the extensive use of media.
Introduction to American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 10AC Introduction to American Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Spring 2012, Fall 2011
American culture and cultural change, with attention to the multicultural basis of American society and emphasis on the need for multiple methods of analysis. The course will consistently draw on the arts, material culture, and various fields affecting cultural production and meaning. Those areas include literature, film, history, architecture, history of art, religion, music, engineering, environmental studies, anthropology, politics, economics
, law, and medicine.
Introduction to American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C10 Introduction to American Studies: Hollywood: the Place, the Industry, the Fantasy 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2013
This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, taking the "Hollywood Dream Factory" as the central theme. Focusing on both parts of that phrase, the course will proceed along a double path. We will examine the historical and geographical development of the motion picture industry from the rise of the studio system to the "new" entertainment economy of the 1980's and we will examine ways Hollywood is represented
in literature and film.
Introduction to American Studies: Hollywood: the Place, the Industry, the Fantasy: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 24 Freshman Seminar 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2009, Fall 2007
The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester. Enrollment limited to 15 freshmen.

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AMERSTD 98 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2011, Fall 2007, Spring 2006
Written proposal must be approved by sponsoring faculty. Seminars for the group study of selected topics, which will vary from year to year. Topics may be initiated by students.

Directed Group Study: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 99 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2001, Fall 2000, Spring 2000
Independent study and research by arrangement with faculty.

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 101 Examining U.S. Cultures in Time 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017
This course examines how U.S. cultures are constructed, reinforced, and changed, and how those cultures act simultaneously at a given time. To help students develop skills in cultural analysis, lectures will contrast various methods and perspectives as they apply to the study of a particular year or decade. Topics will vary from semester to semester. This course may include discussion sections depending on available funding. Some versions of
this course need four in-class contact hours because of the extensive use of media.
Examining U.S. Cultures in Time: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 101AC Examining U.S. Cultures in Time 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Fall 2015
This course examines how U.S. cultures are constructed, reinforced, and changed, and how those cultures act simultaneously at a given time. To help students develop skills in cultural analysis, lectures will contrast various methods and perspectives as they apply to the study of a particular year or decade. Topics will vary from semester to semester.

Examining U.S. Cultures in Time: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 102 Examining U.S. Cultures in Place 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017
This course examines how U.S. cultures are constructed, reinforced, and changed--particularly in reference to place and material culture. Qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis drawn from several disciplines will help students develop skills in cultural interpretation. Case studies may focus on a neighborhood, a city, or a region. Topics will vary from semester to semester. This course may include discussion sections depending on
available funding. Some versions of this course need four in-class contact hours because of the extensive use of media.
Examining U.S. Cultures in Place: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 102AC Examining U.S. Cultures in Place 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2003, Fall 2002, Summer 2002 10 Week Session
This course examines how U.S. cultures are constructed, reinforced, and changed--particularly in reference to place and material culture. Qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis drawn from several disciplines will help students develop skills in cultural interpretation. Case studies may focus on a neighborhood, a city, or a region. Topics will vary from semester to semester.

Examining U.S. Cultures in Place: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 110 Special Topics in American Studies 3 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2011, Fall 2010
This course is designed primarily to allow faculty to develop focused interdisciplinary courses which address specific issues, themes, or problems in American society. Topics vary from semester to semester. Students should consult the department's webpage for current offerings before the start of the semester.

Special Topics in American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 110AC Special Topics in American Studies--American Cultures 3 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2015 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2015 Second 6 Week Session, Summer 2004 10 Week Session
This course is designed primarily to allow faculty to develop focused interdisciplinary courses that address specific issues, themes, or problems in American society and American cultures. Topics vary from semester to semester.

Special Topics in American Studies--American Cultures: Read More [+]

AMERSTD H110 Honors Seminar: Special Topics in American Studies 3 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017
This course is designed to introduce honors students (those who have achieved a minimum overall GPA of 3.3) to the history and theory of American studies as an interdisciplinary field and to explore current themes, debates, and researh problems in American studies.

Honors Seminar: Special Topics in American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C111A Architecture in Depression and War 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2010
The Great Depression and World War II are arguably the two most influential events for the development of the built environment in the 20th century. Not only did they alter the socio-economic and political landscape on which architecture and urban planning depend, but they also led to technological innovations and vital debates about the built environment. This course examines the 1930's and 1940's topically, studying the work of the New Deal, corporate responses
to the Depression and war, the important connections between architecture and advertising, the role of the Museum of Modern Art in the promotion of Modernism, the concept of the ideal house, and key tests, theories, and projects from the period.
Architecture in Depression and War: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C111E Topics in American Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
A course on the intellectual, cultural, historical, and social backgrounds to American literature. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Students should consult the department's "Announcement of Classes" for current offerings well before the start of the semester.

Topics in American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C112A American Cultural Landscapes, 1600 to 1900 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011
Introduces ways of seeing and interpreting American histories and cultures, as revealed in everyday built surroundings-- houses, highways, farms, factories, stores, recreation areas, small towns, city districts, and regions. Encourages students to read landscapes as records of past and present social relations and to speculate for themselves about cultural meaning.

American Cultural Landscapes, 1600 to 1900: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C112B American Cultural Landscapes, 1900 to Present 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
Introduces ways of seeing and interpreting American histories and cultures, as revealed in everyday built surroundings--homes, highways, farms, factories, stores, recreation areas, small towns, city districts, and regions. Encourages students to read landscapes as records of past and present social relations, and to speculate for themselves about cultural meaning.

American Cultural Landscapes, 1900 to Present: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C112F The American Forest: Its Ecology, History, and Representation 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012, Spring 2011, Spring 2007, Fall 2004
The American forest will be examined in terms of its ecology, history, and representations in paintings, photographs, and literary essays. This examination seeks to understand the American forest in its scientific and economic parameters, as well as the historic, social, and ideological dimensions which have contributed to the evolution of our present attitudes toward the forest.

The American Forest: Its Ecology, History, and Representation: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C115 The American Detective in Fiction, Film, and Television 4 Units

Terms offered: Prior to 2007
This course considers how the American detective is represented in fiction, fil, and popular culture. We will examine how representations of the American detective are affected by diverse historican and socio-cultural factors, including the ideology of American individualism, paradigms of investigation and ordered knowledge, and competing discourses of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. After a brief consideration of early American detectives and detectives
in the classic American hardboiled tradition, we will focus on many detectives from traditionally understudied groups, including female detectives, African American detectives, Chicana detectives, Asian American detectives, Native American detectives, and gay and lesbian detectives. This course may be used as an elective in the American Studies major.
The American Detective in Fiction, Film, and Television: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 121 Photography in America 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 1996 10 Week Session
The topic of this course is the history of photography in the United States, from the introduction of the medium in 1839 to the present decade. We will consider the medium chronologically as well as thematically, focusing on the following kinds of issues: the photograph as document and as fine art, the "language" and intentionality" of photography, work and image in photographically illustrated media, the social role of the photograph
, photography and gender. This course may be used as an elective in the American studies major.
Photography in America: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 132Y Native American Indian Autobiographies 1 Unit

Terms offered: Summer 1995 10 Week Session
This course considers several autobiographies written by Native American Indians. The lectures, discussions, and required books focus on various cultural themes and theories of autobiography; a comparative review of diverse tribal experiences and narratives. Theories of cultural simulations and literary forms of representation in autobiographical literature will receive general attention in the course. Students will be required to participate in class
discussions and complete two hours review papers and a final examination.
Native American Indian Autobiographies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C132B Intellectual History of the United States since 1865 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2012
In this course we will be discussing key developments in U.S. thought since the middle of the nineteenth century, roughly beginning with the reception of Darwin. The broader story told in the class weaves together in the history of science and engineering, the arts and popular culture, philosophy, and education. Our goal is to trace how ideas, whether they are dominant, challenging, or look back, have affected the ways in which Americans
live together. We will look at how intellectual life has empowered and expanded the capacity of Americans to understand their world and achieve goals more effectively. We will also consider how intellectual theories have contributed to inequality and injustice.
Intellectual History of the United States since 1865: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C134 Information Technology and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
This course assesses the role of information technology in the digitalization of society by focusing on the deployment of e-government, e-commerce, e-learning, the digital city, telecommuting, virtual communities, internet time, the virtual office, and the geography of cyber space. The course will also discuss the role of information technology in the governance and economic development of society.

Information Technology and Society: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 138AC From Civil Rights Era to the New Gilded Age: Struggles for Racial Equality and Economic Equity from 'Double Victory' to 'Occupy' 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016
World War II lifted the U.S. from the Great Depression and launched a long economic boom that helped underwrite and propel efforts on behalf of greater racial equality and economic equity. As that boom began to fade in the late 1960s, America’s march toward greater racial equality foundered, while its march toward greater economic equity began to reverse course. The Civil Rights Era gave way to the New Gilded Age. This course will explore the political, legal, and
economic history of America’s struggles for racial equality and economic equity – and the relationship between them.
From Civil Rights Era to the New Gilded Age: Struggles for Racial Equality and Economic Equity from 'Double Victory' to 'Occupy': Read More [+]

AMERSTD 139AC Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a sigular,unitary Civil Rights Movement -- as is typically portrayed in standard textbood accounts and the collective memory -- but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. This course explores the history, presenting a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race
and ethnicity as well as region) view of America's struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present.
Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 142Y Community Development in the Bay Area 1 Unit

Terms offered: Summer 1995 10 Week Session
This course will provide students with opportunites to discuss and observe in action the most recent theories and practices pertaining to community development in the urban United States. Readings and discussion will be rooted in field trips and interviews with community activists, executive staff and nonprofits, professional planners and designers in the Bay Area. Students will have opportunities to take their own field trips and conduct interviews
based on their own interests.
Community Development in the Bay Area: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C152 Native American Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
An analysis of the written and oral tradition developed by Native Americans. Emphasis will be placed on a multifaceted approach (aesthetic, linguistic, psychological, historical, and cultural) in examining American Indian literature.

Native American Literature: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 170AC Race and Representation in US Culture 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2015 10 Week Session, Summer 2015 3 Week Session, Summer 2014 3 Week Session
This course will explore the history
of race, ethnicity and
representation across the 20th
century by considering the
overlapping histories of African
Americans, Native Americans and
Whites through the study of film,
photography and art, and humor.
This course satisfies the American
Cultures requirement by combining
the following 1-unit courses:
American Studies 181B - Race
Photography, and Art; American
Studies 180D - Race and American
Humor ; and American Studies 184I
- Race and American Film.

Race and Representation in US Culture: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C171 The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces--that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; 4) gardens. The course will review the cultural and social contexts which have shaped and informed landscape architecture in the United States since the advent of the public parks movement, as well as, the
aesthetic precepts, environmental concerns, horticultural practices, and technological innovations of American landscapes. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.
The American Designed Landscape Since 1850: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C172 History of American Business 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course will examine selected aspects of the history of American business. Included will be discussions of the evolution of the large corporation, the development of modern managerial techniques, and the changing relationship of business, government, and labor.

History of American Business: Read More [+]

AMERSTD C174 Visual Autobiography 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2008, Fall 2007, Fall 2003, Spring 2002
Since visual and literary studies have historically been viewed as separate disciplines, we will use theories from both to study those forms of self-representation that defy disciplinary boundaries, or what we call "visual autobiography." The course aims to help students become conversant with the elements of alphabetic literacy (reading and writing) and visual literacy (observing and making) in order to develop a third distinctive
textual/visual literacy.
Visual Autobiography: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 178AC Race and Ethnicity in American Culture: Film, Music, and Advertising 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2009 10 Week Session, Summer 2009 3 Week Session
This course will examine the politics of racial representation and expression in popular music as well as film and advertising. This course combines 180C, 184I, and 188F.

Race and Ethnicity in American Culture: Film, Music, and Advertising: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 179AC Representing Race and Ethnicity in American Culture 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2008 10 Week Session, Summer 2008 3 Week Session
This course offers students a unified course experience that examines the politics of visual representation and ways of "seeing" race and ethnicity in the U.S. in a comparative way. This course satisfies the American Cultures requirement by combining the following 1-unit courses: American Studies 180C - The Politics of Adverstising in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Representation; American Studies 181B
- Writing Narratives of Race and Gender: Photography and Art;and American Studies 184I - Race and American Film.
Representing Race and Ethnicity in American Culture: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 189 Research and Writing in American Studies 1 - 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Spring 2012, Fall 2011
This course is designed to encourage research skills, critical thinking, and effective writing. An intensive reading and research seminar, the course will assist students in the development of skills fundamental to advanced research in the humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies. In addition to examining some topics in current American studies scholarship, students will conduct semester-long research projects. The effort entails identification
of research topics, cultivation of interdisciplinary methodologies, compilation of annotated bibliographies, and completion of a literature review, which may serve as the first portion of the American studies senior thesis. The course is strongly recommended for those who have been out of touch with the conventions of academic research and writing or who might wish to pursue a graduate degree in the future.
Research and Writing in American Studies: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 190 Senior Thesis 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017
All American Studies majors must satisfy the senior thesis requirement. Three options are available:AS 190-Senior Thesis, AS 191-Senior Seminar, or students may (with prior Faculty Advisor approval) enroll in an upper division seminar appropriate to their concentration for which they write a substantial research paper. Students planning to enroll in AS 190 must complete the "Thesis Proposal/Adviser Agreement" (available in the departmental
office) prior to the semester in which the thesis is written.
Senior Thesis: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 191 Senior Seminar 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017
Students will meet in seminar and will be required to write individual research papers based on the general themes or issues of the seminar. The particular themes/issues will be outlined on the American Studies Course List provided each semester by the American Studies office.

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AMERSTD H195 Honors Thesis 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017
This is a required course for students wishing to graduate with honors in American studies. Entails writing a bachelor's thesis pertaining to the student's individual area of concentration within the American studies major. The completed thesis will be read by the thesis supervisor and one other faculty member.

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AMERSTD 198 Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2011, Fall 2008
Seminars for the group study of selected topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Students must have completed 60 units in order to be eligible to enroll.

Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates: Read More [+]

AMERSTD 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research for Upper Division Majors 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2013 10 Week Session, Summer 2012 10 Week Session
Directed individual study on special topics approved by an American studies faculty member. Enrollment restrictions apply; see the Introduction to Courses and Curricula section of this catalog.

Supervised Independent Study and Research for Upper Division Majors: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Mark Brilliant, Director, American Studies. 20th century US history, with a focus on political economy, civil rights, education, law, and the west.
Research Profile

Michael Cohen, Associate Teaching Professor.

Kathleen S. Moran, Associate Director, Lecturer.

Christine Palmer, Lecturer.

Jessica Kenyatta Walker, Lecturer. African American material culture, Black feminist theory, cultural landscape theory.

Affiliated Faculty

Charles L. Briggs, Professor. Linguistic and medical anthropology, social theory, modernity, citizenship and the state, race, and violence.

Raul Coronado, Associate Professor.

Margaret L. Crawford, Professor. Everyday urbanism, evolution, uses and meanings of urban space and therapid physical and social changes on villages in China’s Pearl River Delta.

+ Kathleen Donegan, Associate Professor. Colonial America, early America, Native America, early Caribbean.
Research Profile

Marcial Gonzalez, Associate Professor. Chicano and Chicana literature, twentieth-century American ethnic literatures, theory of the novel, marxism, critical theory, farm worker social movements.
Research Profile

Paul Groth, Professor Emeritus. Architecture, vernacular architecture, urban geography, suburban America, cultural landscape studies, housing (US).
Research Profile

Dorothy J. Hale, Professor. English literature, American literature, the novel, narrative theory, critical theory, Henry James, William Faulkner, the modern novel of consciousness.
Research Profile

Robert L. Hass, Professor. English, poetry, poetry writing, American poetry, history of the short poem in English, contemporary literature, translation, environmental writing, literature and the environment, the natural history tradition in American writing.
Research Profile

David Henkin, Professor. History, US History, urban history, cultural history, History of Time.
Research Profile

Shari Huhndorf, Professor. Interdisciplinary Native American studies, cultural studies, gender studies, American studies, literary and visual culture.
Research Profile

Richard Hutson, Professor Emeritus. Literature.
Research Profile

Kerwin L. Klein, Professor.

Lauren Kroiz, Assistant Professor. History and theory of photography and new media, race and ethnic studies, the relationships between regionalism, nationalism and globalism.

Michel Laguerre, Professor. Globalization, information technology, urban studies.
Research Profile

Margaretta M. Lovell, Professor. Architecture, design, American art.
Research Profile

Waldo E. Martin, Professor. African American History ; Modern American Culture.
Research Profile

Mary Ann Mason, Professor Emeritus. Law, social welfare, family and children policy.
Research Profile

+ Joe R. McBride, Professor Emeritus. Forest ecology and urban forestry.
Research Profile

Rebecca Mclennan, Associate Professor. North America: 1763-present, law & society, crime & punishment, prisons, society & culture, capitalism, global foodways.
Research Profile

Louise A. Mozingo, Professor.

Samuel Otter, Professor. English, African American literature, 19th century American literature, 17th and 18th century American literature, Herman Melville, race in American culture, literature and history, discourse and ideology, close reading.
Research Profile

Genaro M. Padilla, Professor. American literature, Chicano/Latino literary and cultural studies, American autobiography.
Research Profile

Mark A. Peterson, Professor. US/North America, Atlantic World, early modern history, religion, political economy.
Research Profile

Beth Piatote, Associate Professor. Native American studies.
Research Profile

Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor. Social movements, visual culture, memory, photography, African American history and culture.
Research Profile

Jean P. Retzinger, Lecturer. Environmental communication, particularly agriculture and food issues in advertising, television, film, and digital media.

Tamara C. Roberts, Assistant Professor.

Christine Rosen, Associate Professor. History of business and the environment, business history, green chemistry, sustainable business strategies.
Research Profile

Alex M. Saragoza, Associate Professor. Ideology, modern Mexico, Latin American history, structural origins of Mexican migration, cultural formations in Mexico, Mexican cinema, radio, television.
Research Profile

Daniel Sargent, Associate Professor. American history, International History, Contemporary History.
Research Profile

Scott Andrew Saul, Professor. English, African American studies, 20th century American literature and culture, performance studies, jazz studies, histories of the avante-garde.
Research Profile

+ Susan Schweik, Professor. Feminist theory, cultural studies, English, American poetry, disability studies, 20th-century poetry, literature and politics, war literature.
Research Profile

Andrew Shanken, Professor. Memory, visionary architecture, the unbuilt, paper architecture, heritage conservation, architectural representation, urban representation, diagrams, history of professions, historiography, world's fairs, expositions, California architecture, themed environments.
Research Profile

Katherine Snyder, Associate Professor. 19th- through 21st-century Literature in English, narrative and the novel, gender studies, post-traumatic and post-apocalyptic fiction.
Research Profile

Shannon Steen, Associate Professor.

Bryan Wagner, Associate Professor. Critical theory, African American literature, historiography.
Research Profile

Hertha D. Sweet Wong, Associate Professor. English, American literature, native American literature, autobiography, ethnic American literature.
Research Profile

Visiting Faculty

Greil Marcus

Emeritus Faculty

Donald McQuade, Professor Emeritus. English, advertising, 20th century American literature and culture, theory and practice of non-fiction, literature and popular culture, the American Renaissance, the essay as literature.
Research Profile

Contact Information

American Studies Program

237 Evans Hall

Phone: 510-642-9320

Visit Program Website

Program Director

Mark Brilliant

Phone: 510-642-2118

mbrill@berkeley.edu

Associate Program Director and Faculty Adviser

Kathleen Moran, PhD

241 Evans Hall

Phone: 642-6697

kmoran@berkeley.edu

Faculty Adviser

Christine Palmer, PhD

clpalmer@berkeley.edu

Faculty Adviser

Michael Cohen, PhD (Department of African American Studies)

mmcohen@berkeley.edu

Student Academic Adviser

Laura Spautz, MPH

237 Evans Hall

Phone: 510-642-9320

amerstd@berkeley.edu

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