Advanced Seminars

Advanced seminars in American studies bring all students in the program into spaces of collaborative exploration after pursuing their individual paths of study in American studies, Asian American/diasporic studies, and/or Latino studies. To students culminating programs of study toward one of the certificates offered by the Program in American Studies, advanced seminars offer the important opportunity to integrate their cumulative knowledge.

Advanced seminars, like all American studies courses, pull from primary sources from multiple disciplines and cultural products across varied genres and media.  Experimentation is encouraged, and students-as-collaborators learn to synthesize disparate elements into sustained complex arguments, creating and presenting significant work in written, oral, and other creative formats at varied lengths. Seminar participants bring their special interests into dialogue with one another through the lens of course topics aimed at addressing key issues in America today.

Fall 2021 Advanced Seminars

Advanced Seminar in American Studies: Art and Politics of Food
This course brings methods and ideas from two fields — American studies and the environmental humanities — to examine the role of the arts in U.S. food movements related to agriculture, culinary experimentation and environmental justice. Course materials will include film, visual and performance art, journalism, political ephemera and culinary artifacts. Course participants will develop both an independent research-based essay and a multimedia collaborative project that build on the seminar’s guiding questions and assigned materials.
Instructors: Allison Carruth
Advanced Seminar in American Studies: The Disney Industrial Complex
This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the history and evolution of the Walt Disney Company not only as a multinational media and entertainment conglomerate but also as a powerful cultural force — from the early films and theme parks to the highly successful streaming service. We’ll consider the ever-expanding Disney multiverse (which now includes Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, among others) as well as the company’s global reach, while paying special attention to its impacts on, and representations of, American history, society, and culture, particularly as they touch on matters of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and place.
Instructors: William Albert Gleason