Fascinating + meaningful classes

American Studies courses are often those that have a profound impact on your worldview, introducing you to new ways of thinking about cultural identity, race and ethnicity, and the possibilities of engaged citizenship. Whether you are pursuing a major or minor in American Studies, or simply want to learn more about a subject that intrigues you, these courses promise to be engaging and memorable. They also help you prepare for the array of opportunities that await after graduation.

Featured courses

Two people kissing with the phrase sex in the heartland

U.S. Movements and Institutions: Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll

From Kinsey, sexploitation film, free love and music icons (including Jim Morrison, Dusty Springfield, and Roy Orbison), to the spread of marijuana and rise of LSD, this course evaluates claims that youth cultures of the sixties charted new cultural frontiers of sex, altered states, and aesthetics.

illustration of a barbed wire fence between Caucasian woman with an apple and a Hispanic woman with an apple

U.S. Arts and Media: Race in American Art

This course examines representations of racial identity in American art and visual culture from the colonial period through the present day with a particular focus on evolving conceptions of Native American, African American, European American, Latino, and Asian American identities.

illustration of a brown man playing the saxophone

U.S. Arts and Media: Popular Music and Critical Theory

The intersection between popular pleasures and genres, on the one hand, and critical and historical reflection, on the other hand, is the subject of this American Studies course. The course focuses on theories of mass culture, the centrality of capitalism to pleasures and genres in art and entertainment in the last century.

Native American person hitting drum with drum stick

Indigenous Worldviews in the Americas

This is an interdisciplinary course that examines the ways in which indigenous people throughout the Americas relate to the world: how they see it, how they understand it, how they articulate it and how they live in it.

woman pointing a camera forward to take a picture

American Experience Through the Lens

Through a cultural and historical examination of a variety of objects, such as physical sites, monuments, art, food, film, music, and social institutions, this course asks the question: What and where is America?

Captivity Narratives

Nothing is more fundamental to American identity than the idea of freedom, but captivity also dominates our national imagination.

Horror in US Cinema

Ever watch a Stephen King Movie and wonder why it is that there’s always an Indian Burial ground connected to the haunting and violence?

AMST-A399: Inside Out was definitely one of my favorite classes. We spent every Friday morning in the Indiana Women's Prison studying and discussing the prison system and the history of criminalization with a class of IU students and women who were incarcerated at IWP. We made incredible friendships all while challenging norms and developing podcasts and zines about problems with the carceral system. It had a huge impact on my formation as a friend, a scholar, and an activist.

Caroline (Caro) Oates, double major in American Studies and Spanish with a Linguistics minor and LAMP certificate