Arts In Context
This specialization is for students interested in American arts, literature and media. Its approaches are interdisciplinary: it trains students to examine cultural artifacts with attention to aesthetic form and to the contexts–historical, social, political—that determine and situate those forms. Broadly, it asks how history has shaped the arts and media and how the arts and media have shaped how we think and who we are. Students in this specialization take courses across a range of genres and media: poetry, fiction, music, film and video, pop culture, visual culture, performance, experimental and activist art. Please see Professors Cassandra Cleghorn or Liza Johnson for further information regarding Arts in Context.
Comparative Studies in Race, Ethnicity & Diaspora
This interdisciplinary specialization examines the role of race, ethnicity, and diasporic movements in the construction of American identities. Students explore how experiences and concepts of race and ethnicity are transformed through the processes of diaspora and immigration. These courses may encompass a broad spectrum of fields such as history, literature, religion, politics, anthropology, gender studies, media and the performing arts, among others. NOTE: Concentrators in this area are required to take a combination of courses that will allow them to comparatively assess the experiences of at least two ethno-racial groups in the Americas. Please see Professors Mérida M. Rúa or Dorothy Wang for further information regarding Race, Ethnicity & Diaspora.
Critical and Cultural Theory
Critical and cultural theory is for students who want their American Studies work to combine philosophy, aesthetics, and social thought. Its approach is methodological, conceptual, and problem-driven. Students combine courses in feminist theory, anti-imperial and postcolonial theory, literary theory, critical race theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and other counter-traditions in political theory and philosophy. Please see Professors Cassandra Cleghorn or Mark Reinhardt for further information regarding Critical & Cultural Theory.
Space and Place
This route focuses on the human landscape and the built environment. Courses in this specialization variously undertake the reading of geographical regions, patterns of habitation, imagined spaces, property relations and/or artifacts. Please see Professors Mark Reinhardt or Mérida M. Rúa for further information regarding Space & Place.