UVa Course Catalog (Unofficial, Lou's List)
Catalog of Courses for American Studies    
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These pages present data mined from the University of Virginia's student information system (SIS). I hope that you will find them useful. — Lou Bloomfield, Department of Physics
American Studies
AMST 1050Slavery and Its Legacies (3.00)
Fall 2019
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 1559New Course in American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New Course in the subject of American Studies
Course was offered Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
AMST 2001Introduction to American Studies (3.00)
Fall 2019
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 2155Whiteness & Religion: Religious Foundations of a Racial Category (3.00)
This class examines the role religion plays in defining a racial category known as whiteness. By reading cultural histories and ethnographies of the religious practices of various communities, we will examine how groups now classified as white (Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, etc.) and religious images (depictions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary) "became white" and the role that religious practice played in this shift in racial classification.
Course was offered Spring 2017
AMST 2210Arts of the Harlem Renaissance (3.00)
Studies the literature, painting, photography and prints produced by New York artists based in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s, and examines their relation to concurrent social, cultural, and aesthetic issues.
AMST 2231Native Americans in Popular Culture (3.00)
This course interrogates American Indian people in pop culture. Students historicize and analyze the representation of American Indians across such media as print, photography, cinema, music, and more recently in the twenty-first century, social media. This course asks students to think about the ways American Indian people have not only contributed to pop culture, but the desire for American Indians as cultural objects.
AMST 2233Contemporary Native American Literature (3.00)
In this course we use contemporary Native American literature, authored by individuals from diverse tribal backgrounds, as an accessible avenue to better understand the history of federal Indian policy, its complexity, legal construct, and the ways federal Indian policy influences the lives of American Indian people.
AMST 2300Introduction to U.S. Latino Studies (3.00)
A small lecture course (35) AMST 2300 offers students close study and analysis of significant texts or cultural artifacts that are printed, visual, oral or musical representing the perspective and contributions of the main Latino populations in the United States. These works include, but are not limited to, cultural manifestations from Puerto Rican, Chicano, Dominican, Central American and Cuban American origin.
AMST 2321Latinx Fiction and Film (3.00)
This course explores the diverse and also converging experiences of Latinos in the US. We will read contemporary novels and poetry by Latinx authors from different Latinx groups (Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central American and South American). We will discuss reasons for migration, concepts of the "border" and the impact of bilingualism on group identity. We will view films that depict the Latinx experience in the US.
Course was offered Fall 2018
AMST 2420Cultural Landscapes of the United States (3.00)
This course introduces the study of everyday landscapes as cultural spaces that illuminate the history of social and political developments in the U.S. It encourages a broad understanding of landscape across genres-painting, photography, fiction, journalism. Particular focus will be paid to the political economy of landscapes to explore the connections between landscape and public policy from multiple vantage points.
AMST 2422Point of View Journalism (3.00)
This course analyzes 'point-of-view' journalism as a controversial but credible alternative to the dominant model of ''objectivity' in the U.S. news media. It will survey point-of-view journalists from Benjamin Franklin to the modern blog.
Course was offered Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
AMST 2460Language in the U.S. (3.00)
Through diverse academic/theoretical readings and spoken, written, and visual material, students will learn to analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments as related to critical linguistic and cultural analysis of primary and secondary source material. This course examines complex relationships among American language and cultural practices, American history, race, gender, and class ideologies, and social identities.
Course was offered Fall 2017, Spring 2016
AMST 2470Disney (3.00)
This discussion course examines the cultural role of Disney and its effects on the visual arts in the 20th and 21st centuries. It considers a range of material to interrogate how Disney as both a corporation and a cultural icon promotes and reinforces national ideals. Presented both chronologically and thematically, students engage with aesthetic, ideological and theoretical concerns regarding history, identity, space/place, and popular culture.
Course was offered Spring 2017
AMST 2500Major Works for American Studies (3.00)
Topics vary according to instructor. The goal of the course is to introduce students to interdisciplinary work in American Studies by juxtaposing works across disciplinary boundaries and from different methodological perspectives.
AMST 2559New Course in American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
Fall 2019
New Course in subject of American Studies.
AMST 2660Spiritual But Not Religious: Spirituality in America (3.00)
What does "spiritual but not religious" mean, and why has it become such a pervasive self-description in contemporary America? This interdisciplinary course surveys spirituality in America, with a particular eye for the relationship between spirituality and formal religion, on the one hand, and secular modes of understanding the self, such as psychology, on the other.
Course was offered Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017
AMST 2753Arts and Cultures of the Slave South (4.00)
This interdisciplinary course covers the American South to the Civil War. While the course centers on the visual arts- architecture, material culture, decorative arts, painting, and sculpture- it is not designed as a regional history of art, but an exploration of the interrelations between history, material and visual cultures, foodways, music and literature in the formation of Southern identities.
AMST 3001Theories and Methods of American Studies (3.00)
Fall 2019
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
AMST 3050Critical Ethnic Studies (3.00)
This core seminar is an introduction to key issues and methods in the comparative and critical study of ethnicity and race. The course highlights an interdisciplinary approach to the studies of systematic oppression in the United States, and the global implication of these structures. We will consider how Ethnic Studies presents a progressive intellectual challenge to global and local configurations of power in the name of global justice.
AMST 3180Introduction to Asian American Studies (3.00)
An interdisciplinary introduction to the culture and history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in America. Examines ethnic communities such as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Asian Indian, and Native Hawaiian, through themes such as immigration, labor, cultural production, war, assimilation, and politics. Texts are drawn from genres such as legal cases, short fiction, musicals, documentaries, visual art, and drama.
AMST 3200African American Political Thought (3.00)
Fall 2019
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.
Course was offered Fall 2017
AMST 3221Hands-On Public History (3.00)
This course introduces the issues and debates that have shaped public history as a scholarly discipline, but the focus of the course will be on the contemporary practice of public history. Students will work with Special Collections to produce their own public history exhibits. Readings and field trips will provide a foundation for students' hands-on engagement with public history.
Course was offered Fall 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
AMST 3321Race and Ethnicity in Latinx Literature (3.00)
This course examines the construction of race and ethnicity in Latinx literature by examining key texts by individuals from varying Latinx groups in the US. We will examine how US-American identity shapes Latinx notions of race and how the authors' connections with Latin America and the Caribbean do the same. We will explore from a hemispheric perspective how race and ethnicity are depicted in Latinx literature and culture.
Course was offered Spring 2018
AMST 3323Hemispheric Latinx Literature and Culture (3.00)
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.
Course was offered Spring 2019
AMST 3354Race and Media (3.00)
We explore issues related to white supremacy, anti-blackness, mixed-race, settler colonialism, immigrant and transqueer phobia, and the production of racial difference. We examine these topics within their historical context and explore representations across all forms of visual culture, predominantly television but with reference to advertising, film, music, and digital media.
AMST 3355Border Media (3.00)
In this course we consider the depiction of the U.S.-Mexico border from the perspective of popular and mass media cultures. We examine the border as a site of cultural exchanges, resistance and critical negotiation; interchanges that impact the construction of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender from both sides of the border.
Course was offered Fall 2017
AMST 3407Racial Borders and American Cinema (3.00)
This class explores how re-occurring images of racial and ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Jews, Asians, Native Americans and Latino/as are represented in film and shows visual images of racial interactions and boundaries of human relations that tackle topics such as immigration, inter-racial relationships and racial passing.
Course was offered Spring 2019
AMST 3425American Material Culture (3.00)
This course will introduce you to the study of material culture, the physical stuff that is part of human life. Material culture includes everything we make and use, from food and clothing to art and buildings. This course is organized into six sections, the first introducing the idea of material culture, and the other five following the life cycle of an object: material, making, designing, selling, using.
Course was offered Spring 2019
AMST 3460Reading America at Home and Abroad (3.00)
This course explores ideas of America, as they are constructed both at "home" in the United States, and "abroad," in and through a number of global locales. It considers a range of representations, in literature, art, film and music, and also the everyday life of American culture. In asking how America has seen itself and how others have seen America, we will effectively theorize the concepts of both nation and globality.
Course was offered Fall 2015
AMST 3462Harlem Stories: Literature and Culture of the Modern World (3.00)
This course examines the multiplicity of Harlem, in global and historical contexts. It considers how Harlem represents itself and how representation shapes the experience of place, the ways that stories of Harlem are simultaneously lived and circulating, and how different disciplinary techniques offer different renditions of Harlem.
AMST 3463Language and New Media (3.00)
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of how language both shapes and is shaped by American society with a focus on New Media. Draws on critical and analytical tools and socio-cultural theories to examine this dynamic relationship in Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, texting, Instagram, YouTube, and more.
Course was offered Spring 2019
AMST 3465America and the Global South in Literature and Film (3.00)
Students in this course will examine and interpret conceptions of America from the point of view of novelists, filmmakers, journalists, and scholars in the Global South. American and Global South landscapes will be a focus of the class, as will images, artifacts, and material culture that reveal Global South views of the United States.
Course was offered Spring 2018
AMST 3491Rural Poverty in Our Time (3.00)
This course will use an interdisciplinary format and document based approach to explore the history of non-urban poverty in the US South from the 1930s to the present. Weaving together the social histories of poor people, the political history of poverty policies, and the history of representations of poverty, the course follows historical cycles of attention and neglect during the Great Depression, the War on Poverty, and the present.
AMST 3559New Course in American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New Course in the subject of American Studies
AMST 3630Vietnam War in Literature and Film (3.00)
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.
Course was offered Fall 2016
AMST 3641Native America (3.00)
This course will introduce students to deep history of Native North America. Using primary and secondary sources, we will cover such topics as mutually beneficial trade and diplomatic relations between Natives and newcomers; the politics of empire; U.S. expansion; treaties and land dispossession; ecological, demographic, and social change; pan-Indian movements; legal and political activism; and many, many others.
Course was offered Spring 2018, Spring 2015, Fall 2013
AMST 3740Cultures of Hip-Hop (3.00)
This course explores the origins and impacts of American hip-hop as a cultural form in the last forty years, and maps the ways that a local subculture born of an urban underclass has risen to become arguably the dominant form of 21st-century global popular culture. While primarily focused on music, we will also explore how forms such as dance, visual art, film, and literature have influenced and been influenced by hip-hop style and culture.
Course was offered Spring 2019
AMST 3880Literature of the South (3.00)
Analyzes selected works of literature by major Southern writers. For more details on this class, please visit the department website at http://www.engl.virginia.edu/courses.
Course was offered Fall 2018, Fall 2017
AMST 4321Caribbean Latinx: Cuba, Puerto Rico and the DR (3.00)
In this course we will read texts by Latinx writers from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. We will explore how their works speak to issues of race, colonialism and imperialism based on their individual and shared histories. We will discuss their different political histories and migration experiences and how these in turn impact their literary and artistic productions in the US.
Course was offered Spring 2019, Spring 2018
AMST 4401Literature of the Americas (3.00)
Fall 2019
This course explores a wide range of (broadly defined) fictions from and about the Americas, from writings by Columbus and the conquistadors through modern and contemporary novels, novellas, and short stories. Students consider the intersection of fiction and history through topics that include New world "discovery" and conquest; borderlands and contact zones; slavery and revolution; and the haunting of the global present by the colonial past.
Course was offered Fall 2017
AMST 4403Transamerican Encounters (3.00)
This comparative, interdisciplinary course focuses on the encounter between the U.S. and the wider Americas as represented in literature, history, and film. Working across a range of historical periods, it explores the varied international contexts underpinning narratives of U.S. national identity and history. It also considers how cultural forms access histories and perspectives outside of official accounts of the past and present.
AMST 4410Censorship (3.00)
This course examines the social, legal, aesthetic, and theoretical issues raised by censorship of art, mass media, literature, film, and music in the U.S. While censorship is usually associated with explicit sexuality, we will also look at cases involving racial stereotyping, violence, social disorder, and religion. Our cases will center around novels, art, film, music, mass media, and other cultural phenomena.
Course was offered Fall 2015
AMST 4430Documentary Film and the South (3.00)
This course explores how documentary filmmakers have represented the US South from the 1930s through the end of the twentieth century and the place of films made in and about the region in the history of documentary film. Students will conduct original research, shape their findings into paper, and make their own documentary short about a topic of their choosing.
AMST 4440Visions of Apocalypse in American Culture (3.00)
This course examines how Americans have envisioned the end of the world. Through religious and cultural history and contemporary cultural studies, it considers the ways social, political, and economic tensions are reflected in visions of the apocalypse. It explores the impact of imagined futures on previous generations, and how religious and secular ideologies of apocalypticism have shaped social movements, politics, and popular culture.
Course was offered Spring 2016
AMST 4470American Film Noir (3.00)
This seminar examines the phenomenon of American Film Noir produced during the 1940s and 50s. Using urban culture to frame debates about films noir, it explores the ways in which "the city" is represented as a problematic subject and a frequent resource immediately before and after World War II. The course also discusses the influences of early twentieth-century photography, American Scene art, and Abstract Expressionist painting.
AMST 4472Hollywood Cinema's Golden Age: The 1930s (3.00)
This course examines American cinema produced in Hollywood during the 1930s. While the Great Depression serves as an important backdrop to our investigation, we will interrogate how issues such as ethnic/racial representation, shifting gender roles, sexuality, and urbanity are mediated in popular cinema in this decade. The course also considers the studio system, the Hayes Code, stardom, and changes within narrative and film techniques.
Course was offered Fall 2017
AMST 4474Stardom and American Cinema (3.00)
This course examines the role of stardom and star performance in American cinema from the silent era to the present. Using social history, cultural studies and film criticism theory, we will explore topics such as the cultural patterns of stardom, constructions and subversions of star identity, and the ways in which issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality affect the star image both inside and outside cinema.
AMST 4500Fourth-Year Seminar in American Studies (3.00)
Fall 2019
This seminar is intended to focus study, research, and discussion on a single period, topic, or issue, such as the Great Awakening, the Civil War, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, or the 1960s. Topics vary.
AMST 4559New Course in American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New Course in the subject of American Studies.
AMST 4893Independent Study in Asian Pacific American Studies (3.00)
An elective course for students in the Asian Pacific American Studies minor. Students will work with an APAS core faculty member to support the student's own research. Topics vary, and must be approved by the APAS Director. 
AMST 4993Independent Study (3.00)
An elective course for American Studies majors who have completed AMST 3001-3002. Students will work with an American Studies faculty member to support the student's own research. Topics vary, and must be approved by the Program Director. Prerequisite: AMST 3001, 3002, Instructor Consent.
AMST 4998Distinguished Majors Program Thesis Research (3.00)
Fall 2019
Students spend the fall semester of their 4th years working closely with a faculty advisor to conduct research and begin writing their Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) thesis.
Course was offered Fall 2018, Fall 2017
AMST 4999Distinguished Majors Thesis Seminar (3.00)
This workshop is for American Studies majors who have been admitted to the DMP program. Students will discuss the progress of their own and each other's papers, with particular attention to the research and writing processes. At the instructor's discretion, students will also read key works in the field of American Studies. Prerequisites: admission to DMP.
AMST 8001Graduate Seminar in American Studies (3.00)
This course introduces graduate students to the field of American Studies, the interdisciplinary study of US culture. Students will be exposed to a variety of influential theoretical and methodological interventions that have occurred over the field's history, and will also be introduced to some of the principal intellectual, political, and professional issues they will face while pursuing a career in the field.
Course was offered Spring 2019, Fall 2017