A seminar course required as a culminating experience prior to graduating for all seniors majoring in American Studies. The seminar enables students to practice the various theories and methods for the academic study of the American experience. The goals of the seminar are to help students attain information and conceptual tools needed for graduate work in American Studies, and to assess the achievement of the learning goals for the undergraduate major. To accomplish the first goal, students become familiar with the field of American Studies by reading and discussing a major work chosen by the instructor. To assess achievement of learning goals for the undergraduate major, students contribute to the field’s literature by conducting original research on a topic of relevance to American Studies and composing a substantial paper on that topic. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Most current editions of the following:
Instructors must choose one text to be used as the foundation of classroom discussion. Instructors may use texts not included in the following list with the approval of the academic department. Acceptable texts are:
Locating American Studies: The Evolution of a Discipline
By Maddox, Lucy (The Johns Hopkins Press) Recommended
The American Studies Anthology
By Horwitz, Richard (Scholarly Resources) Recommended
New American Studies
By Rowe, John Carlos (University of Minnesota Press) Recommended
The Futures of American Studies
By Pease, Donald (Duke University Press) Recommended
The goals of the seminar are to help students attain information and conceptual tools needed for graduate work in American Studies, and to assess the achievement of the learning goals for the undergraduate major.
WRITING REQUIREMENT In consultation with their instructor, students must choose a research topic of relevance for the American Studies. Students should then present a critical summary of research materials and literature related to that topic and a substantial analytical paper that posits and develops a thesis. The body of the final paper must be 15-20 pages in length and must include proper citations using the style appropriate for the topic. Papers focusing on Sociology or Political Science, for example, should be written following APA requirements. History papers should be written in Chicago style.
Copies of all final drafts of senior papers must be sent to the Department of History and Social Sciences on the home campus to be used for review by the proper accrediting bodies.
Determined by the text chosen by the instructor.
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical
outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.