The American Studies M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Purdue are flexible, largely self-directed plans of study. Two years of coursework are required for the M.A. and Ph.D. each, with the majority of courses being elective. M.A. students also take AMST 63000, a capstone independent research seminar. Ph.D. students take AMST 60300. Ph.D. students are required to take a major and a dissertation prospectus. All students in the program work closely with an advisor and plan of study committee who supervise their path toward the degree.
American Studies Courses:
Courses in American Studies are often team-taught and merge M.A. and Ph.D. students. Courses are frequently cross-listed between American Studies and other departments. In addition to scheduled courses, students may take a directed reading course of independent study. Other recently added courses in the curriculum include AMST 62000: "Archival Theory and Practice," and AMST 61000: "Transnational American Studies Abroad."
Other recent American Studies course offerings include:
- Critical Race Theory: Professor Ryan Schneider
- The Chicago Renaissance: Professors Bill Mullen and Anne Knupfer
- Chicano/a Literature: Professor Sonia Gonzalez
- Postcolonialism & the New Postglobal Studies: Professor Al Lopez
- Early Native American Literacies: Professor Kristina Bross
- U.S. Black Latino Literature & Contemporary Theory: Professor Antonio Tillis
- Masculinity & 19th Century American Literature: Professor Ryan Schneider
- John Dewey's Educational Philosophy: Professor A.G. Rud
- American Protest Music from the Wobblies to Woodstock: Professors Rich Hogan and Harry Targ
- Colonial & Early American Literature: Professor Christopher Lukasik
- Global Issues in Education: Professor Nadine Dolby
- Early Twentieth Century American Fiction: Professor Robert Lamb
- Recent American Philosophy: Subjectivity in Action: Professor Charlene Seigfried
- Contemporary African American Fiction: Professor Venetria Patton
In recent years, students in the American Studies program have gravitated towards the following academic concentrations for their coursework and research:
- African American Studies
- Critical Race Theory
- Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Popular Culture
- Transnational Studies
- U.S. Social Movements
In recent years, American Studies students have written the following dissertations:
- Jay Hopler, "Designated Hitters: The Contract Killer in Twentieth-Century American Short Fiction"
- Sabine Klein, "'The Dutch Threatened Them Hard': Dutch and English Colonial Writings, 1620-1664"
- Andrew Koch, "Rage Against the Machine: The University-Military-Industrial Complex and Contemporary American Culture and Democracy"
- Megan MacDonald, "Indigenous American Two Spirit Women and Urban Citizenship in the Late Twentieth Century"
- Karen Salt, "The Haitian Question"
- Courtney Thompson, "Capturing Democracy: Black Women Activists and the Struggle for Equal Rights 1920s-1970s"
Support for Research:
Finally, students in American Studies are offered travel funds every year to support their research and presentations at academic conferences. Students also serve in elected positions on the American Studies Steering Committee, American Studies Recruitment Committee, and American Studies Symposium Committee. As well, students compete for annual awards: The Chester Eisinger Award for Outstanding Essay in American Studies; the American Studies Teaching Award; the Paul and Eslanda Robeson Award for Transnational Scholarship; the American Studies/Women's Studies Outstanding Achievement Award, and the American Studies Social Justice/Community Service Award.
To learn more about graduate students and graduate student activity in American Studies at Purdue, click on the Directory, or contact Heather Moore, current president of the American Studies Graduate Student Association at email@example.com.