“Current Approaches to American Studies” is the second course in a two-course sequence required of all masters and doctoral students in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland. The course is intended to acquaint students with current subfields, theories, methodologies, and debates in the field. This familiarity will prove useful as students prepare for their History-Theory-Method comprehensive examinations and pursue careers as scholars, artists, activists and pubic servants.
Among the particular discourses and theoretical and methodological frameworks we will engage are critical race theory, historiography, literary and cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, queer theory, disability studies, critical ethnic studies, carceral studies, performance theory, and beyond. We will use these tools to ponder such complex phenomena as subjectivity, identity, difference, power, resistance, expressive culture, space and place, and everyday life.