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    California State University Fullerton
   
 
  Dec 15, 2017
 
 
    
2015-2016 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies, Department of


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Department Chair

Leila Zenderland

Department Office/Website

University Hall 313
657-278-2441
amst.fullerton.edu

Faculty

Dustin Abnet, Erica Ball, Jesse Battan, Adam Golub, John Ibson, Carrie Lane, Elaine Lewinnek, Karen Lystra, Terri Snyder, Pamela Steinle, Susie Woo, Leila Zenderland

Introduction

American Studies gives students a thorough understanding of the past and present nature of American culture and society. Three central features of our approach are: (1) an emphasis on the analysis of culture - that shared system of beliefs, behaviors, symbols and material objects through which Americans give meaning to their lives; (2) examination of dominant culture patterns, as well as the diversity of cultures in America; and (3) an interdisciplinary perspective that uses both the social sciences and humanities.

Besides providing a rich liberal arts education, training in the major develops skills in writing and analysis, and strengthens the ability to recognize connections among complex materials and diverse phenomena. American Studies graduates enter careers in business, communications, government service, law, social services and teaching. The major also provides students with a stong background for graduate work in the field or in related fields.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Bachelor’s Degree

The following learning goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in American Studies:

Students will acquire a deep and broad body of knowledge about how American culture has functioned in the past and present, and about the diverse experiences of different groups of Americans in different eras. They will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture and the functioning of American cultural institutions and processes in the past and present, integrating different kinds of knowledge produced by scholars from both the humanities and the social sciences.
  • Express an understanding of American cultural diversity that recognizes both commonalities and differences in the experiences of different groups, and that considers both the shaping and the functioning of categories of difference-including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class-in different regions and eras.
  • Become informed citizens who understand American political and social issues within historical and cultural contexts, and who can situate American history and culture, including ideas, peoples, and objects, within broader global contexts.
  • Interpret and analyze critically a range of cultural documents and expressive forms, including folk culture, elite expressions, mass media, and material objects.
  • Design and carry out an original interdisciplinary research project exploring American culture that makes use of both primary and secondary sources.
  • Communicate complex arguments, ideas, and research findings about American culture in clear and well-organized written papers and oral presentations.

Master’s Degree

The following learning goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a master’s degree in American Studies:

Students will acquire a complex, deep, and broad body of knowledge about how American culture has functioned in the past and present, and about the diverse experiences of different groups of Americans in different eras. They will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the concept of culture and the functioning of American cultural institutions and processes in the past and present, integrating different kinds of knowledge produced by scholars from both the humanities and the social sciences.
  • Express a complex understanding of American cultural diversity that recognizes both commonalities and differences in the experiences of different groups, and that considers both the shaping and the functioning of categories of difference-including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class-in different regions and eras.
  • Become well-informed citizens who understand American political and social issues within historical and cultural contexts, and who can situate American history and culture, including ideas, peoples, and objects, within broader global contexts.
  • Interpret and analyze critically, using a variety of interdisciplinary methods,  a range of cultural documents and expressive forms, including folk culture, elite expressions, mass media, and material objects.
  • Design and carry out an original and advanced interdisciplinary research project exploring American culture that makes use of both primary and secondary sources.
  • Communicate complex arguments, ideas, and research findings about American culture in clear and well-organized written papers and oral presentations.

Teaching Credential

Because American Studies is interdisciplinary, the major may be effectively combined with subject matter studies necessary for either the multiple subject teaching credential (K-8) or single subject credential (7-12) in History/Social Science. Students may also use the major towards earning an Undergraduate TESOL Professional Certficate. Undergraduates are encouraged to work with the Center for Careers in Teaching (657-278-7130) as early as possible in their academic careers to plan efficient course selections for general education, the major and electives. With careful planning, it may be possible to enter the credential program in the senior year of the bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate students should contact the Admission to Teacher Education office in the College of Education (657-278-3352) to obtain information on attending an overview presentation.

Double Major in American Studies

A double major in American Studies is often simple to arrange, since it allows for up to 12 units of coursework in the department of the other major to be used to complete the requirements of our major.

Programs and Courses Offered

Programs

    Bachelor of ArtsMaster of ArtsNon-Degree

    Courses

      American Studies

      Courses are designated as AMST in the class schedule.

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