American Studies provides a broad framework for the exploration of the people, places, society, and culture of the United States. The field accomplishes this by appropriating ideas and methodologies from one discipline and applying them to another, and by transcending established boundaries among disciplines to create a new structure that combines traditional values and new visions. The program incorporates fieldwork research experiences, collaborative exploration, and public presentation.
Learning Goals: Goals for student learning include analysis of cultural artifacts, group research, field work, and public presentation. These are all built into AmSt 108 and into the senior seminar. The goals are measured by a combination of faculty AND peer evaluation in both the introduction to American Studies and the Senior seminar.
Measures: Students write papers cumulatively, usually for each semester, that they submit as a portfolio. All students in American studies do collaborative project and all projects are peer evaluated.
Feedback: The peer evaluation system in place allows student voices to be heard, and encourages constructive criticism. The presentations are ALWAYS public and always collaborative.