American Studies 101: America Then and Now

“America Then and Now” introduces students to the highly interdisciplinary and always timely field of American studies. Students participate firsthand in democratic inquiry, drawing on approaches from the arts, humanities, and social sciences. AMS 101 also serves as the gateway course to three certificate programs: American studies, Asian American studies, and Latino studies.

Study and discussion range across media. Students engage with a wide variety of texts — verbal, sonic, and visual — and through them consider signature ideas and debates that have shaped America as a nation, and the historical and cognitive processes associated with the formation of America then and now, material and imagined.

Albert Bierstadt, American, 1830–1902, “Mount Adams, Washington,” 1875. Oil on canvas. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Jacob N. Beam.

Albert Bierstadt, American, 1830–1902, “Mount Adams, Washington,” 1875. Oil on canvas. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Jacob N. Beam.

Keith Haring, American, 1958–1990, “Untitled IV,” 1982. Lithograph on Arches white wove paper. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of James Kraft, Class of 1957.

Keith Haring, American, 1958–1990, “Untitled IV,” 1982. Lithograph on Arches white wove paper. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of James Kraft, Class of 1957.