Dec 10, 2018  
2014-2015 HillBook (Class of 2018) 
2014-2015 HillBook (Class of 2018) [ARCHIVED HILL BOOK]

American Studies

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Program Director:
Andrea Opitz

Steering Committee:
L. Brekke-Aloise, History
C. Dolgon, Sociology
T. Gernes, History
A. Motomura, Economics
A. Opitz, English
J. Rodrigue, History
L. Scales, English

American Studies is a broad interdisciplinary major in which students explore the people, places and cultural artifacts of the United States. As American Studies majors, students examine American culture and society using approaches and methods from several different disciplines. American Studies majors typically take courses in History, English, Sociology, Communications, Political Science, Economics, Fine Arts, and Religion among others. The wide range of courses enables students to explore ideas and concepts across several disciplines and methodologies. True to the Liberal Arts tradition, students have the opportunity to draw upon the strengths of faculty in several departments. A major in American Studies is sometimes paired with another major such as History, Education, Political Science, Fine Arts or Communication. Graduates from this program have entered careers in museums, law, public administration, teaching, marketing and journalism. The American Studies Program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Mission of the Program

At Stonehill, the American Studies major is built upon our belief that the study of American society and culture allows students to develop skills in critical inquiry, communication, cultural knowledge, and self-reflection that in turn engender students’ desire to shape the world beyond their classroom. As American Studies majors, students pursue a program of study that explores the values and beliefs that have shaped the experience of the American people. Through exploring “what is America?” and “who are Americans?” students will have the opportunity to position themselves as products as well as shapers of American culture. The major is also built upon a commitment to civic engagement, public service and social stewardship though internships, student teaching and community partnerships. Faculty members work with students individually, helping them to create a program of study according to their interests and goals. True to Stonehill’s broader mission, we seek to provide students the intellectual breath and critical tools necessary for creating a more just and compassionate world.

Learning Outcomes

Majors in American Studies will:

  1. become skilled in the analysis of American texts and artifacts as well as able to analyze, evaluate and contextualize different types of primary and secondary sources. 
  2. communicate well in both oral and written discourse and formulate arguments coherently, support them clearly, and communicate them effectively. 
  3. develop strong information literacy skills including the handling of primary and secondary sources, library use and online scholarly search tools. Students will be able to discriminate among sources and to develop protocols of utility and relevance. 
  4. develop multidisciplinary perspectives and demonstrate an understanding of how each discipline would approach an object of study. Students will be able to think critically about limits of disciplinary knowledge.
  5. engage in interdisciplinary integration through research which synthesizes/integrates a variety of texts. Students will be able to compare and/or contrast disciplinary perspectives.




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