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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

American Studies View this department's website

The American Studies movement is an expression of lively interest and curiosity in things American. American Studies attempts to set American culture within the context of Western civilization and to establish a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on American culture and society.

A major in this area would be suitable for prospective lawyers, government employees, journalists, candidates for graduate degrees in literature, history or American Studies, and elementary or secondary teachers.

This is a contract major in which the student and the student's advisors set up a program of interdisciplinary study centering on a problem, idea, area, institution or period in American culture and society. The student and his/her advisors will work out a concentration by the end of the sophomore year and will follow the guidelines set below for required courses.

Requirements for the American Studies Major

Ten courses are required, two of them fixed and the remaining eight to be worked out with two advisors by the end of the sophomore year. One American Studies advisor and one advisor from an academic field chosen by the student from contributing disciplines such as: Art, Economics, English, Environmental Science, History, Music, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Rhetoric and Media Studies, and Theatre.

  • AMST 250 (W) American Cultural Perspectives (1)
  • Three 200-level (or higher) courses in various disciplines consistent with a plan worked out with advisors by the end of the sophomore year that engages a problem, idea, area, institution or period (3)
  • Five 300-level (or higher) courses in various disciplines consistent with a plan worked out with advisors by the end of the sophomore year that engages a problem, idea, area, institution or period (5)
  • AMST 496 (W) Senior Seminar in American Studies (1)

American Studies Steering Committee


Course Listings

AMST 250 (W) American Cultural Perspectives (1)

This is the beginning course of the American Studies major but open to non-majors as well. The course will assess American high, popular and folk cultures, addressing issues of race, gender and ethnicity. Discussions of American Studies methodology and theory will inform these investigations.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Strelow

AMST 496 (W) Senior Seminar in American Studies (1)

Provides a framework for students to develop a research project or other equivalent activity in consultation with faculty. The objective of this Senior Experience will be to consolidate and integrate the student's knowledge of the field of American Studies.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff