AMS 100


AMS 100


Instructor:  S. Crouthamel


Web site:



COURSE DESCRIPTION:  An introduction to American lifestyles and culture through art, literature, beliefs, values, and the resulting social forms.  Regional and interdisciplinary approaches will be used to evaluate the multicultural American identity and culture in terms of American people and impact on the rest of the world.  Emphasis will be placed on folk culture and popular culture as a measure of the pulse of America.  This will be integrated to formulate a personal and family history.


TEXT:             Temperley and Bigsby:  A New Introduction to American Studies



1.  American Art Review                                                                         50 points

2. American Food Cuisine Review                                                          50 points

3.  Midterm Exam                                                                                 100 points

 4.  Family History Notebook and Identity Essay                                   100 points

 5  Final Exam                                                                                      100 points


                                                                                                Total   400 points




Students will be able to…


1. …recognize the multidisciplinary contribution to understanding the totality of American culture with an emphasis of the arts as reflective and effective phenomena.


2. …recognize the factors that contribute to individual identity and be able to apply that recognition to articulating their own individual identity.


3. …recognize and analyze the subjective and objective imagery in art that expresses symbols and metaphors that reveal deeper values and ideas in American culture.


4. …elicit culture changes through identification of changes in artistic styles and forms in American culture.


5. …identify the benefits of cultural diversity that keeps the society together in tenuous or crisis times.


6. …analyze various levels of identity (national, state, etc) and how they interrelate to building a shared culture.  In turn the student will be able to apply this analysis to formulating his/her own identity and culture.


7. …become aware of the global context of American culture’s impact, positive and negative; as well as developing sensitivity to traveling, working or fighting in different cultural contexts.


I.  American Studies

                A.  Americans:  Names and Identity

                B.  Folk Culture and American Studies


II.  American Identity

                A.  Place

                                1.  Geographic regions

                                2.  Resources

                                                Reading: T&B Chapter 1

                B.  People

                                1.  Indigenous people

                                                Reading: T&B Chapter 5

                                2.  Nation of immigrants

                                                Reading T&B Chapter 7; Chapter 4

                                3.  Cultural regions

                C.  Images

                                1.  Nation/State

                                2.  Local/Cultural

                                3.  Individual


III.  Family Histories and Genealogy

                A.  Genealogy Libraries and Records

                B.  Documentation and Forms

                C.  Family History & Culture

                                                Reading:  Online/Handouts


IV.  American Culture

                A.  American Arts & Media

                                1.  American Literature

                                2.  American Visual Arts:  American Film

                                3.  American Music:  American Songbook

                B.  Native America

                                1.  Native American People

                                2.  Native American Culture and Arts

                C.  Early Immigrant Cultures & the American Frontier 1600-1890

                                1.  Immigrant Groups:  Coming to America

                                2.  Manifest Destiny and Western Frontiers

                                                *American Songbook

                                                Reading: T&B Chapter 8

                D.  American Progressive Movement, Industrialization, Imperialism 1890-1939

                                1.  Gilded Age and WWI

                                2.  Depression and WWII

                                                *American Film

                                                Reading:  Handout:  Film; T&B Chapter 13

American Art Review: Due


                E.  Post War America 1950-200_

                                1.  Post War Baby Boomers 1950s

                                                Reading:  T&B Chapter 15

                                2.  Civil Rights Movement early 1960s

                                                Reading:  Handout:  King letter

                                3.  Vietnam and the Sixties late 1960s, 1970s

                                4.  1980s and beyond

                                                Reading:  T&B Chapter 16

 Food Cuisine review: Due

V.  Family History Notebooks

                A.  Notebook

                B.  Documentation and Archival Material

                C.  Individual Cultural Identity

                                                Reading:  Handouts