American Studies program at Northwest will stimulate a lifetime
of challenging inquiry, productive analysis, and self-initiated
learning about significant contemporary issues and their historical
backgrounds. The many facets of lifestyle and culture in the
United States are only the starting points for considering the
identity of Americans in a global context.
American Studies program equips students with intellectual skills
that they can use in almost any career. At Northwest, American
Studies is mainly a four-semester program aimed at transfer
to a broad range of Bachelor’s programs in the Humanities,
the Social Sciences, the Sciences, and the Arts. Just a few
of the potential areas for future study are American Studies,
pre-law, media studies, and regional ecology, and these degrees
lead, in turn, to even broader career possibilities.
Studies calls for independent thinkers willing to work with
an academic adviser to develop not just a collection of credits
but a personalized, interdisciplinary, and coherent sequence
of courses. Intellectual fire, imagination, and a desire to
make connections in several academic fields are the basic requirements
for entry to American Studies at Northwest.
Courses – Intro to American Studies, American
Cultural Landscapes, Intro to Cross-Cultural Studies
Directions – Governmental Administration, Public
Service, Business, Teaching, Law, Journalism, Media Production,
American Studies Programs
students who specialize in American Studies work closely with
an adviser in the Humanities Division to decide upon a sequence
of courses. They may also formally consult with a faculty member
from another division who is likely to have a different point-of-view
about an appropriate choice of courses. Beyond the general education
courses that are required for all Associate of Arts degrees, core
courses and core elective courses allow students to explore the
topics and the academic fields that most interest them.
choices that students make should form a coherent and logical
course of study. Several exciting and innovative Options are available
within American Studies; students can customize their programs
according to their own unique combination of interests. The Interdisciplinary
Studies option will be the most popular, simply because it offers
the most possibilities for customizing a degree. The other options
listed here are suggested for your consideration but also as examples
of the breadth of potential programs of study that students can
design in American Studies.
can use the Interdisciplinary Studies Option in American Studies
to pursue a coherent program of study that:
a general overview of issues in American life with a more specific,
interdisciplinary study of a single theme (example: someone
concerned about the current migration of young people from Wyoming's
small towns might take courses in literature, sociology, and
popular music to focus in American Studies on the theme of mobility
in our national culture); and
the student’s exploratory instincts and skills at forming
thoughtful and intuitive connections.
& Culture Studies
pervasive presence and effects of all forms of media are prompting
a need for informed critics in addition to new practitioners.
Students who choose the Media & Culture Studies Option in
American Studies will:
historical and critical overviews of forms of contemporary media;
the effects that the media have on social behavior and values;
current changes in the directions of technology and anticipate
their impact on social behavior and values
regularly taught at Northwest study film and society, television
and national culture, themes in popular music, topics in popular
literature, and issues related to global cyberculture. The rich
list includes a specialized team-taught course on country music
that takes advantage of Northwest's developing Special Collection
in the College's Library.
Ecology & Cultural Values
Studies students who choose to focus in this area examine the
frequently opposed perspectives of the sciences and the humanities.
They develop a expertise on environmental issues that require
the language of both areas of academia by taking courses that:
the history and geology of the Yellowstone ecosystem;
the role played by ecological values in shaping artistic depictions
of the region's natural environment;
relevant current issues in the contexts of history and philosophy;
the social and political values that are invoked as the bases
of public policies.