American Studies 201 introduced students to the field of American studies. The course examined the history of American studies and its approaches to studying the United States and the idea of America. The class studied ideas and concepts central to the United States, such as culture, exceptionalism, class, capitalism, and race. Drawing on a range of scholarly texts and primary sources, it considered how critical theory and interdisciplinary research has shaped American studies, its interdisciplinary methodologies, and the study of material objects.
Over the course of the semester students researched material objects of their choosing. In addition to writing a traditional research paper, students in the course designed and developed websites to share information about their findings.