The American Studies Program at the College of Staten Island is designed to give students a comprehensive background in the understanding and history of American culture, with an emphasis on the literature, arts, and ideas that make up the rich fabric of American civilization.
American Studies programs exist at colleges and graduate schools across the country and around the world, and the program at the College of Staten Island is an institutional member of the national American Studies Association. Programs in American Studies rest on the belief that a nation's culture is a unified whole, so that the student's studies must not be restricted to the boundaries of any one discipline. American Studies programs therefore draw on the talents of Americanists in all academic departments. They encourage students to explore courses on American topics no matter where they may be found in the college catalog.
Students at the College of Staten Island may pursue a major or minor in American Studies, Whichever they choose, they will find American Studies an enlightening and enriching experience.
They begin with an introductory course (AMS 101, America: An Introduction) that investigates a selection of the most important themes in American civilization: unity in a pluralistic nation; Blacks and whites in American history; men and women in American society; and the individual in the modern world.
After the introductory course, students take full-year surveys of American literature and American history, offered by the English and History departments. Finally, students choose electives from the American Studies Program's own offerings. These include courses in American film, painting, popular culture, international relations, humor, myths, and literature. The program also offers each semester an advanced seminar designed to let students pursue in-depth research under the direction of a recognized scholar in the area of investigation.
Whatever their major, students with an interest in American culture should also give serious consideration to a co-major or minor in American Studies. If they have already taken courses in American literature or history, they will find that they have already completed a portion of the program's requirements.
Whether selected as a major or minor, the American Studies Program will provide a solid foundation for graduate study in the Liberal Arts and the professions. And whatever a student's major, an American Studies course will help enrich and broaden the college experience.