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Faculty announces the American Studies major

Written on:February 22, 2012
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The new American Studies major was presented to the AUBG students by faculty members in Main Building’s Red Room on Monday, February 20th . Professors from the History, Literature and Philosophy departments talked about the structure of the new major and, moreover, about the importance of having American Studies major at the university.The presentation was then followed by Q&A session and unofficial dinner.

“It is nonsense not to have it in an American university,” said history professor Pierangelo Castagneto.
According to Cstagneto, introducing an American Studies major is yet another instrument to encourage students to familiarize with the American culture and values, which is one of the main missions of AUBG.

The Board of Trustees (BoT) approved the plan of introducing the American Studies major from Fall ’12 on its last meeting in Washington, January 21st. ‘No extra budgeting’ was one of the main reasons why the board voted for the new plan.  According to Castagneto, there is no need for extra financial investment in the project, because most of the subjects already exist in both, the English and History departments of the university.

“It’s a zero cost and this was the premise from the beginning,” he said, “If the program can go on with no expenses, that is all right. Otherwise, forget it.”

The emphasis of the American Studies major will be not only on introducing the economical strengths of the United States, but also showing the whole culture of American society. Five core and seven elective courses will be needed to major in it. There will be variety of courses covering the American literature, history, music, politics and other social aspects. “The variety of subjects introduced can help students develop themselves and their skills for other professions,” said literature professor Davit Wallace.

After the two guest speakers, seniors at AUBG, Molly May and Lacey Cope talked about the importance of understanding humanities and majoring in them, the guests moved to the unofficial part of the presentation. Students expressed their opinion to the faulty in private talks over the dinner.

Although most of the 17 students who attended the presentation were positive about the new major, one of the main concerns of the administration remains whether enough students will be interested in the subject. For this purpose, the History and Civilizations Department is conducting a survey using the Student Government surveys on www.dotlrn.aubg.bg. For now, 12 out of 88 surveyed students said they would like to major in American Studies; 26 would like to minor in it.

 

 

 

Below is the proposed structure of the Major and Minor in American Studies

Major Requirements:

Core Courses (5 courses, 15 credits):

  1. AMS201 North American Cultural Studies
  2. HTY241 United States History to the Civil War
  3. HTY242 United States History from 1865 to Present
  4. ENG241 American Literature to 1865
  5. ENG242 American Literature from 1865 to Present

Elective Courses (7 courses, 21 credits):

  1. AMS301 America in a Global Perspective
  2. ENG370 Genre and Topical Studies: up to 2 courses from this category.
  3. ENG350 Literary History Studies: up to 2 courses from this category.
  4. FAR307 History of Jazz
  5. FAR310 Music in Latin American Culture
  6. HTY307 Topics in American History: up to 3 courses from this category
  7. HTY308 Topics in Global History: Cultures and Societies in Latin America
  8. POS401 Topics in Politics: American Government
  9. Up to 2 other courses at the 300- or 400-level in any discipline. These courses must have significant contents relevant to America and be approved for inclusion in the Major by either the Chair of the ALL Department or the Chair of the HTY Department.

Two semesters of Senior Thesis in American Studies (i.e. AMS491 and AMS492) may be taken toward the electives requirement. In this case, 6 elective courses + 2 Senior Thesis semesters will meet the electives requirement.

Minor requirements:

The following course:

1.  AMS201 North American Cultural Studies

At least 1 of the following:

  1. HTY241 United States History to the Civil War
  2. HTY242 United States History from 1865 to Present

At least 1 of the following:

  1. ENG241 American Literature to 1865
  2. ENG242 American Literature from 1865 to Present

At least 2 of the following:

  1. AMS301 America in a Global Perspective
  2. ENG370 Genre and Topical Studies: up to 2 courses from this category.
  3. ENG350 Literary History Studies: up to 2 courses from this category.
  4. FAR307 History of Jazz
  5. FAR310 Music in Latin American Culture
  6. HTY307 Topics in American History: up to 2 courses from this category
  7. HTY308 Topics in Global History: Cultures and Societies in Latin America
  8. POS401 Topics in Politics: American Government
  9. Another course at the 300- or 400-level in any discipline. This course must have significant contents relevant to America and be approved for inclusion in the Minor by either the Chair of the ALL Department or the Chair of the HTY Department.

At least 2 of the 6 courses taken for the Minor must be at the 300-/400-level.

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