American Culture Studies Minor
Required Courses for the American Culture Studies Minor
A student must successfully complete, at Fontbonne, a minimum of 50 percent of the credit hours required for the minor.
- ACS 100
Introduction to American Culture Studies3 credits
A general introduction to American studies and its
problems and contexts. Students will consider what and
who defines America (and how) through interdisciplinary
readings and discussions. Students will develop critical
thinking and analytic skills to help them develop skills for
interpreting American culture. Fulfills a specialized
valuing general education requirement.
- ACS 200
America Abroad3 credits
An examination of the meaning of “America” outside its own borders, with emphasis on the last sixty years with an emphasis on the intersection of popular culture and foreign policy, as well as on globalization. Instructors will draw from film, television, politics, journalism, history, literature, music, art, and other media.
- ACS 300
Topics in American Culture Studies3 credits
Various topics in American studies will be offered on a
rotating basis. Sample topics include The Holocaust in
American Life, The American Family, The American
City Since 1945, and The American Photograph.
The elective courses, drawn from offerings in other departments, are listed below. Students must choose one course from each of the following clusters.
In addition, the chair of the department of interdisciplinary studies may approve Special Topics or Dedicated Semester courses to count toward this minor program on a one-time basis. See the chair of the department of interdisciplinary studies for further information.
- ART 207
High Art, Propaganda, and Kitsch3 credits
Meets the specialized valuing component of the general
education requirements. Through the examination of
works of art and artists, students will evaluate the uses of
art, both current and historical, to better understand the
role it has in contemporary society, and the methods used
in critiquing art.
- ART 313
The American Photograph3 credits
This class offers students an opportunity to explore the human figure further in terms of real sense of space and solid forms, as well as skin color. This class requires the completion of two life-size figure paintings: male and female with long term rendering through Grisaille, which is the value study of human form and color skin sensitivity with the source of light interaction based upon realistic and impressionistic color theory.
- MUS 106
American Popular Music3 Credits
Social, economic, and musical foundations of ragtime, jazz, swing, and popular music, with a special emphasis on the best work of America’s most distinguished popular music composers and lyricists. Some emphasis on the verbal, melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic characteristics that distinguishes the American popular song and its creators.
- SOC 225
Contemporary Social Theory3 Credits
- SOC 235
Social Stratification3 credits
An examination of the changing patterns of social
stratification in the United States with an emphasis on
class, gender, and race. Topics include principles and
theories of stratification, inequality, income, education,
and social mobility. Prerequisite: SOC 100.
- SOC 245
Social Theory3 credits
An introduction to theorizing as a skill, while also
providing students with the tools to develop theories
about social phenomena and the social world. The major
works of classical and contemporary sociological theorists
are integrated and evaluated as examples of the theorizing
- SOC 265
Diversity Studies3 credits
An introduction to central debates in the sociological
literature on diverse groups. Discussion of issues such as
power and inequality, prejudice and discrimination, social
justice, and social policy. Prerequisite: SOC 100.
- WGS 101
Introduction to Women’s Studies3 Credits
This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women’s studies. Readings in feminist theory and research, autobiography, and the history of women’s rights activism will provide a framework for an investigation of major themes in women’s lives. Using contemporary cultures of the United States as our primary field of study, we will also explore dominant ideas about gender, one of the primary terms through which human beings articulate identity, define social roles, and assign status. We will consider as well how notions of gender intersect with other components of experiences such as those related to nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, class, age, religion, and sexuality. Fulfills specialized valuing general education requirement.
- WGS 220
The course introduces students to main categories, topics,
and research of masculinity studies. Through theoretical
readings and discussions of popular culture, we will focus
on the central debates around men and masculinities. We
will examine the following questions:
_ How is masculinity constructed and maintained in
_ How do we learn to be men and play masculinity in
_ How do race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality affect our
_ What is the relationship between masculinity and
Analyzing male sexuality, intimacy, violence,
homophobia, and gender equality, we will pay
considerable attention to different forms of masculinity
and masculinity politics in the contemporary world.
- COM 210
Rhetorical Criticism3 credits
Introduces students to a variety of rhetorical methods and
perspectives that can be used to evaluate public discourse.
By reading works of rhetorical criticism, engaging in
class discussion, and writing and presenting individual
reports, students will consider the constructed nature of
public discourse in a variety of contexts and explore the
methodological issues inherent in assessing that
discourse. Students will integrate theory and practice in a
critical essay. Prerequisites: ENG 101; ENG 102; COM
- COM 380
This course will introduce students to persuasion theory
and research. Students will become more critical
consumers and producers of persuasive messages as they
examine persuasion in a variety of contexts, and from a
diverse set of theoretical perspectives. The course will
culminate in the application and/or appraisal of a
persuasive campaign. During Presidential election years,
this course may be offered as Political Persuasion.
Prerequisite: COM 102 or COM 103.
- ENG 255
African-American Literature3 credits
And introduction to the literature of African Americans
from the slave narrative to the present and an opportunity
to analyze and interrogate issues of race, identity, and
gender in the works of African-American writers. Offered
- ENG 260
American Literary Tradition: to Whitman3 Credits
Consideration of important movements, writers, and works from the Colonial Period to the Civil War; examination of colonial literature, revolutionary literature, the slave narrative, transcendentalism, and the sentimental novel. (pre-18
- ENG 261
American Literary Tradition: since Whitman3 Credits
Consideration of important movements, writers, and works of the late 19th century and of the 20th century; emphasis on realism, naturalism, regionalism, modernism, and postmodernism.
- ENG 337
American Literary Renaissance3 Credits
- ENG 355
African-American Literature3 Credits
- ENG 365
Development of the American Novel3 Credits
- HST 105
Introduction to American History I: Discovery through Civil War3 credits
Promotes a better understanding of the United States and
how it has developed through a study of the American
past. Covers discovery and colonization, the American
Revolution, the Constitution, the Federalist Era, the
Democratic-Republican Era, Jacksonian Democracy,
Manifest Destiny, and the Civil War.
- HST 106
Introduction to American History II: Post-Civil War to Present3 credits
Promotes a better understanding of the United States and
how it has developed through study of the American past.
Covers Reconstruction after the Civil War, Big Business
and Reform, the Progressive Era, WW I, the Roaring
Twenties, the Depression, WW II, the U.S. since WW II.
- HST 310
African-American History3 credits
Provides an introduction to African-American history.
Establishes a broad foundation for understanding the
influence on America of the African-American
community from pre-slavery to contemporary times.
Topics include Pre-slavery, Colonialism, The Civil War,
Jim Crow Laws, Reconstruction, The Harlem
Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and
- HST 340
American Social History3 credits
Study of America from the colonial period to the present,
emphasizing the forces that divided the united American
society-assimilation of minority groups, the influence of
religious institutions, and the impact of industrialization
- SSC 201
American Economy3 Credits
A study of the development of the American economy from the colonial period to its present position as a major world economic power. A study of economic theory— how the American economy works today through the free market system and regulation, and what the future may hold.
- GOV 230
American National Government3 credits
Historical background, organization, and functions of the American National Government; study of the operation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in today’s environment and a study of the current political process in the United States.
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