Introduction to Theories and Methods in American Studies is a class for AMST majors, the first of a two-part set of courses that will culminate in your capstone project for the major. In the senior capstone project in AMST 450, you will produce a piece of original research on a topic you propose and develop in consultation with your professors and with feedback from your peers. In AMST 340, you will develop the formal proposal for your capstone project while expanding your knowledge of American Studies research and methods
We will devote much of AMST 340 to helping you, as an AMST major, find a research question you care about, identify sources and devise research methods to study that question, and cultivate your voice as a scholar/citizen. You should expect to put in a lot of effort defining your topic, articulating it in the form of a clear research question, searching in both the library and online for relevant sources, and developing an interdisciplinary research method of analysis to answer your key question. AMST 340 is also designed to help you locate yourself as a practitioner of American studies and identify where and how your research interests fit into the broader scholarship of our field.