Undergraduate Department of American Studies

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2014-15 academic year.

Gail Dines, Chair and Professor

Akeia Benard, Assistant Professor

Geoffrey McCormack, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Sandra McEvoy, Associate Professor, Director, Political Science and Global Studies

Susan Owusu, Instructor and Coordinator of the Communications Major

Joyce Hope Scott, Associate Professor

Eric Silverman, Professor


B.A., American Studies

B.A., Communication and Media Literacy

B.A., Political Science and Global Studies

B.A./American Studies Major with a Professional Major /36-40 credits

The American Studies major is an interdisciplinary program that permits students to combine interests in sociology, history, literature, political science, art and psychology. American Studies, with its focus on the ways historically oppressed groups have fought for social justice and helped shape American Society, offers students a multicultural lens that complements professional preparation for the fields of teaching, social work, juvenile justice and youth advocacy, and child life.

  • Students develop an individualized focus that allows for a flexible program of study. Suggested areas of focus include; Popular Culture and Representation, Race and Ethnic Studies, and Women’s Studies.
  • An arts and sciences major that may be combined with a professional major in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, or Social Work
  • American Studies is also available as a minor.
  • You may choose American Studies for your undergraduate major as part of Wheelock’s five-year dual degree program leading to a master’s in Child Life.
  • Learning outcomes for the American Studies major:

Students will:

  • Develop the analytical and theoretical skills for engaging in the multi-disciplinary study of political, economic and cultural institutions
  • Understand the ways that inequality operates within institutions and is reproduced through culture and ideology
  • Appreciate the ways that critical theories developed in women’s studies, race studies, and media studies provide a lens that facilitates deconstructing identities and ideologies
  • Demonstrate an historically grounded understanding of how social change is advanced through political struggle and collective action
Course Requirements36 credits
AST 160 American Identities 4 credits
HDS 106 Sociology of Minority Groups 4 credits
Select One* 4 credits
AST 150 Introduction to American Government/4 cr.
AST 256 Gender and Politics/4 cr.
HIS 165 America Through the Civil War/4 cr.
HIS 167 America Since the Civil War/4 cr.
HIS 245 Women in America/4 cr.
LIT 245 Native American Literature/4 cr.
LIT 246 African-American Literature/4 cr.
PSG 1XX Global Greed and Corruption/ 4 cr
Select One* (Intermediate courses) 4 credits
AST 257 Race in America/4 cr.
COM 250 Apocalyptic America/4 cr
PSG 2XX Media, Violence, and Revolutions/4 cr
PSG 240 Social Movements/4 cr
*Courses used to meet this requirement may not be counted toward the individualized focus area.
Advanced course (select one) 4 credits
PSG 3XX Neo-liberalism, Development, and the Global South/4 cr
HDS 322 Feminist Theories/4 cr
AST 403 Senior Seminar in American Studies/4 cr
AST 410 Internship in American Studies/4 cr
Individualized focus area16 Credits
Introductory Course (select One)/4 credits
AST 140 Media and Race in American Society/4 cr
AST/HDA 225 Anthropology of American Men/4 cr
HDA/PSG 121 Anthropology and Globalization/4 cr
HDS 103 Women, Culture and Society/4 cr
HIS 165 America Through the Civil War/4 cr
HIS 167 America Since the Civil War/4 cr
HIS 215 Africa and Its Global Encounters/4 cr
LIT 180 Film and Fiction/4 cr
PSG 135 Bombs and Bombshells/4 cr
PSG 1XX Global Greed and Corruption/4 cr
PSG 101 Issues in Globalization/ 4 cr
PSG 130 Women and Globalization/ 4 cr
Intermediate Courses (select at least one)/4-8 credits
AST 220 Coming to America/4 cr
AST 256 Gender and Politics/ 4 cr
AST 257 Race in America/4 cr
AST/HDA 258 Religion in America/4 cr
AST 265 Studies in American Popular Culture/4 cr
AST 290 History, Culture and Spirituality of West Africa/4 cr
COM 255 Media Literacy for Children and Youth/4 cr
COM 250 Apocalyptic America/4 cr
HDA 256 Sex and Culture/4 cr
HDP 282 Children and the Media/4 cr
HIS 245 Women in America/4 cr
HIS 269 The Sixties/4 cr
LIT 215 Survey of American Literature/4 cr
LIT 225 African Literature/4 cr
LIT 230 African-American Women Writers/4 cr
LIT 245 Native-American Literature/4 cr
LIT 246 African American Literature/4 cr
PHL 230 American Philosophy/4 cr
PHL 240 Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People/4 cr
PSG 235 Theory and Practice of International Conflict Resolution.
PSG 240 Social Movements
PSG 250 Politics of Sex Trafficking/ 4 cr
PSG 230 LGBT Politics in Film/4 cr
PSG 2XX Media, Violence, and Revolutions/4 cr
THE 238 African-American Theatre/4 cr
Advanced Courses (select at least one ) 4-8 credits
AST/HDA 323 Media Madness/4 cr
AST//HDA 350 Globalization and Human Rights/4 cr
AST 365 Studies in American Popular Culture/4 cr
AST 412 International Summer Internship (Ghana) /4 cr
COM 440 Media as a Tool for Social Change/4 cr
HDS 322 Feminist Theories/4 cr
HIS 402 Advanced Studies in History/4 cr
PSG 3XX Neo-Liberalism, Development, and the Global South/4 cr
PSG 3XX Capitalism and its Discontents/4 cr
American Studies Major without Professional Major /40 credits

Students opting to major in American Studies without a second major should follow the requirements for the 36-credit major as listed above and add the following, for a total of 40 credits:

Select One:
An additional advanced course in American Studies
An internship if not already completed as an advanced course
An advanced course in either the Humanities or Art History

American Studies Minor (4 Courses)
AST 160 American Identities/4 cr
HDS 106 Sociology of Minority Groups/4 cr
One AST Intermediate Course/4 cr
One AST Advanced Course/4 cr


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