Examines the Americas as a geographical and historical region. Applies a variety of approaches to specific topics and events, with particular attention to the interplay of politics and culture. Stresses interaction of local, regional, and global dynamics such as colonialism, migration, and slavery. Stresses diverse interpretive approaches within American Studies.
The class this year will be a comparative study of Mexico and Cuba, with an emphasis on the ways that the history of each has been affected by the United States, and vice versa: how the United States has been shaped and influenced by these two close neighbors. The class will also build research skills and experience using a variety of different sources to address questions.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Readings, discussions, work on questions in small groups and research clusters. There will be relatively little traditional lecture.
No prerequisites. However some previous experience doing research -- as emphasized now in many of the BIS program core (300, Introduction to Interdisciplinary Inquiry) would be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Short response papers, longer papers, and some work by groups to facilitate classroom discussions. No exams, but plenty of writing.