University of Southern California
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Please note: Due to late revisions, some text on this page differs from what appears in the printed version of the USC Catalogue. The changes appear below as highlighted text, with corresponding explanations appearing in the right margin.

Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Arts, American Studies and Ethnicity (African American Studies)

African American Studies is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide students with a critical understanding of the historical, cultural, social and political experience of African Americans, with a particular emphasis on the development and culture of the African American communities in California and the West as well as on both historical and contemporary effects of global issues on African American communities. By drawing upon courses in American Studies and Ethnicity and by emphasizing comparative as well as interdisciplinary study, this program offers training in the analytic tools and methods of interpretation appropriate for studying the African American experience in its particularity and ethnic and cultural study in general. The program is particularly appropriate for students interested in integrating studies in the humanities and social sciences and for students preparing to work and interact with diverse communities and cultures in the United States and abroad in such fields as education, human services, business, journalism and public administration.

African American Studies is administered by an executive committee comprising the chair, directors of the four majors and other faculty members. In addition to the college academic advisor, the directors of the majors serve as advisors to majors and minors, providing, in conjunction with the sequence of courses, the opportunity for students to undertake an interdisciplinary concentration under close faculty supervision. It is recommended that students meet with the appropriate major director to plan a coherent set of courses to fulfill the major or minor requirements.

Program Major Requirements
Ten courses in African American Studies, or courses certified for African American Studies credit, are required. The 10 courses must be distributed as follows: the three core requirement courses of AMST 200, AMST 350 and AMST 498; one course from each of the following three lists: History, Literature and Culture, and Social and Political Issues; and additional elective courses for a total of 16 units chosen from the courses certified in African American Studies at the 300 level or above.

Core RequirementsUnits
AMST 200Introduction to American Studies and Ethnicity4
AMST 350Junior Seminar in American Studies and Ethnicity: Theories and Methods4
AMST 498*Senior Seminar in American Studies and Ethnicity4

*Honors students will substitute AMST 492 Research Methods in American Studies and Ethnicity.

200/300/400-Level Required CoursesUnits
One course from each of the following categories:
AMST 250The African Diaspora4
HIST 355The African-American Experience4
HIST 455Advanced Topics in African-American History4

Literature and Culture
AHIS 365African American Art4
AHIS 475Blackness in American Visual Culture4
AMST 285African American Popular Culture4
AMST 385African American Culture and Society4
CTCS 407African American Cinema4
ENGL 446African-American Poetry and Drama4
ENGL 447African-American Narrative4

Social and Political Issues
AMST 101Race and Class in Los Angeles4
AMST 206The Politics and Culture of the 1960s4
AMST 274Exploring Ethnicity through Film4
AMST 330Jazz and the Political Imagination4
AMST 365Leadership in the Community–Internship4
AMST 389 Carceral Geographies4
AMST 395African American Humor and Culture4
AMST 466The Psychology of African Americans4
GEOG 350Race and Environmentalism4
POSC 421Ethnic Politics4
POSC 427Black Politics in the American Political System4
PSYC 462Minority Mental Health4
REL 469Black Religion in America4

upper division elective coursesunits
Additional courses for a total of 16 units from the lists above or below, or other American Studies and Ethnicity courses with the approval of the African American Studies director, 300 level or higher. No more than two total courses in the major may be taken outside the college.
AMST 301America, the Frontier, and the New West4
AMST 320Social Constructions of Race and Citizenship4
This course is now available for elective credit beginning fall 2010.
AMST 353Race and Racism in the Americas4
AMST 490xDirected Research2-8, max 8
AMST 493Senior Honors Thesis in American Studies and Ethnicity4
AMST 499Special Topics2-4, max 8
COMM 458Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment and the Arts4
POSC 424Political Participation and American Diversity4
SOCI 432Racial and Ethnic Relations in a Global Society4