The ASC Program

The American Studies Center consists of a number of on-going activities that constitute the core of its program, among which are the following:

1. Diploma Program a two-year academic program leading to a diploma (equivalent to an Associate of Arts degree), after which a student will be able to transfer to an American university to continue her or his studies towards a B.A.  The diploma program will consists of 66 credit hours, including a minimum of 27 hours in American studies in addition to university and college requirements.

2. Lecture Series:  a series of lectures on topics of a general nature related to various aspects of American culture, primarily for the University family but open to the wider community as well.  These may be extended to include workshop sessions and potentially a full-scale conference. In addition, cultural programs such as musical events and films are offered.

3. Individual Research:  the Center hopes to establish itself as a research center for students and faculty of the University, as well as individuals from outside the University.  With its growing collection of books and other materials, in addition to online resources, the Center will be able to offer the interested scholar opportunities for academic research unavailable elsewhere in Bahrain or the Gulf region.

4. Minor in American Studies a program for students in the College of Arts who are majoring in English or other subjects.  Courses will also be available as electives to students who are not taking the minor.

The minor in American Studies requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours or ten courses.  Currently, AMST 211, 212, 213, and 214 are the only four required courses for the Minor in American Studies.  An additional six courses  can be chosen from the remaining selection of American Studies courses, albeit at least two of the remaining courses must be upper division courses, i.e. 300-400 level.

REQUIRED COURSES

AMST 211:  Introduction to American Studies I – Aspects of American Culture
An interdisciplinary course that examines the ways different disciplines have approached the study of American culture.  Students are introduced to the main cultural movements in American history and to contemporary intellectual debates within the field.

AMST 212:  Introduction to American Studies II – Aspects of American History and Government
Selected topics, themes and issues in American history, politics and government with emphasis on their contemporary relevance.

AMST 213:  American Fiction
A survey of American writers of fiction (short stories and novels) from the late 18th century to the present, including prominent representatives such as Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, and Twain from the 19th century and Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck from the 20th century.

AMST 214:  American Poetry and Drama
A survey of major American poets and dramatists, including 19th century poets such as Whitman and Dickinson, and representatives of the 20th century such as Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Ginsberg, and Plath.  Drama will begin with the works of O’Neill and continue with major successors

ELECTIVE COURSES

AMST 202:  US History II – From 1877 to the Present
Survey of US history from the end of the era of Reconstruction to the present.  The rise of new constitutional and political developments, America’s ascent to industrial supremacy, America’s rise as a world power, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, social, political and cultural changes since the 1960s, and the rise of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism.such as Williams, Miller, Albee, et al.

AMST 202:  US History II – From 1877 to the Present
Survey of US history from the end of the era of Reconstruction to the present.  The rise of new constitutional and political developments, America’s ascent to industrial supremacy, America’s rise as a world power, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, social, political and cultural changes since the 1960s, and the rise of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism.

AMST 205:  American Government I – National and Local
Theories in government that influenced the framers of the US Constitution, Federalism, political participation, public opinion, the media, political parties and interest groups at the national and local governments.

AMST 206:  American Government II – National and Local
Political institutions at the national and local levels, such as the legislature, judiciary and the executive.  America’s economic policy, bureaucracy, civil liberties, civil rights, and foreign and defense policies.

AMST 221:  Multicultural Literature in America
An examination of the literary contributions—essays, fiction, poetry and drama—by Native, African, Asian, Latino and other American ethnic minorities, reflecting the cultural diversity of America’s literary heritage.

AMST 222:  American Cultural Criticism
An examination of a variety of approaches to cultural criticism as they relate to American culture, encompassing the nature of aesthetic accomplishment as well as the social contexts that alter and enrich the shape of cultural expressions in America.

AMST 223:  American Social History
An exploration of relationships between American ideas and American society, with particular concern for the changing ways in which Americans have thought about themselves, their communities and their role in the world.

AMST 224:  History of US-Middle East Relations
The historical development of the US approach and policies toward the Middle East since the colonial era, with special emphasis on the relationship from World War I to the present.

AMST 225:  The Geography of the United States
A survey of the physical, political and cultural geography of the United States.

AMST 250:  American Law and Institutions
A descriptive survey of the constitutional and structural principles, processes and functions of the American governmental system, along with an examination of major political institutions.

AMST 312:  Themes in American Literature
A survey of prominent literary movements in the United States, together with an analysis of significant works and themes associated with these movements.

AMST 313:  American Popular Culture of the Twentieth Century
An introduction to various aspects of popular culture in America, as manifested in movies, radio and television programs, and other forms of popular entertainment.

AMST 411:  Minority Cultures in America
An examination of the questions of race, ethnicity and identity in the United States with special emphasis on minorities.

AMST 420:  America’s Role in International Affairs
A historical survey of America’s rise to international prominence and a discussion of its current place on the international scene and its stance on various regional and global issues.

AMST 413:  Topic-Oriented Seminars
Various specialized topics are offered for discussion in fields such as science and technology, anthropology, art, music, religion, politics and sociology.  The range of topics changes from year to year and is announced at the beginning of each semester.

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