Click here for the Spring 2024 course flyers.

Click here for Spring 2024 course descriptions and here for the Spring 2024 course offerings list.

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

AMST 101gm Race and Class in Los Angeles (4, Fa) Analysis of race and the economic, political, gender, and social dimensions of contemporary Los Angeles including topics such as residential segregation, economic inequality, and city politics. Concurrent enrollment: WRIT 140.

AMST 135gm Peoples and Cultures of the Americas (4, FaSp) An introduction to cultures and people in the Americas; the social, historical, economic and cultural formations that together make up the Latino/a American imaginary.

AMST 140 Borderlands in a Global Context (4) Interdisciplinary survey of theory and borderland site cases, national sentiment, linguistic and cultural conflicts, ex­ploration of local, regional, and national identities in cultural contact zones.

AMST 150gw The American War in Viet Nam (4) Examination of the ways that different nations and cultures have remembered the Vietnam War or the American War as it is called in Vietnam.

AMST 200m Introduction to American Studies and Ethnicity (4, FaSp) Introduction to American studies and ethnic studies. Provides an overview of major theories, concepts, and issues.

AMST 201g LGBTQ America (4) Examines how U.S. sexual identity and experience are represented in the 20th and 21st century and introduces the interdisciplinary field of LGBTQ Studies.

AMST 202m Interethnic Diversity in the West (4) Introduction to community, culture, and ethnicity within the Western United States with emphasis on African American, Asian American, and Chicano/Latino cultures and social patterns.

AMST 204g Introduction to Native Studies (4) Overview of Native American studies, including Indigenous intellectualism and resistance through language revitalization, film-making, and the recognition of one another.

AMST 205g Introduction to American Popular Culture (4) Examines the relation between U.S. national culture, race, and popular culture.

AMST 206m The Politics and Culture of the 1960s (4, Sp) Examines political and cultural change in the United States during the decade of the 1960s.

AMST 211g Sex in America (4, FaSp) Explores how the proliferation of sexual cultures, identities, politics shape everyday lives in the United States and beyond.

AMST 215gw Race and Mixed Race (4, Irregular) Concepts of race and mixed race historically shaped through law, science, and popular culture, including their social construction and evolution over time.

AMST 220m The Making of Asian America (4, FaSp) Historical, social, and cultural analysis of (East, South, and Southeast) Asians in the United States. Themes examined: immigration, race and gender relations, ethnic culture, community and identity.

AMST 230g Introduction to African American Studies (4) Examines the socio-historical and political imperatives of multi-disciplinary scholarship foundational to the study of African Americans.

AMST 240gm Collective Identity and Political Violence: Representing 9/11 (4, FaSp) (Enroll in ANTH 240gm)

AMST 242gm Social Responses to Disaster (4) Exploration of social complexities associated with U.S. disasters; influences of (political) action on mitigation, response, recovery; how activities and investment vary along racial and economic lines.

AMST 250gm The African Diaspora (4, FaSp) History, political-economy and aesthetics of the African Diaspora with emphasis on Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

AMST 252gm Black Social Movements in the U.S. (4) This course examines black social movements for freedom, justice, equality, and self-determination. Beginning with Reconstruction, movements include labor, civil rights, radical feminism, socialism, reparations, Black Nationalism, prisoners’ rights, and Hip Hop.

AMST 274gm Exploring Ethnicity Through Film (4, FaSpSm) Examination of the constructions of American ethnicity/race in film. (Duplicates credit in former AMST 374m).

AMST 285gm African American Popular Culture (4, Sp) Examines history of popular cultural forms such as literature, music, dance, theatre, and visual arts produced by and about African Americans. Concurrent enrollment: MDA 140.

AMST 301gp America, the Frontier, and the New West (4, FaSp) Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American political, cultural, and social life with a particular emphasis on the Western United States as a region. Recommended preparation: HIST 100, ENGL 263.

AMST 305 Art and Performance in the Americas (4) Critically examine the histories, formations, and possibilities of art and performance from the 1970s forward.

AMST 312 Documenting Latinx Los Angeles Food Culture (4) (Enroll in ANTH 312)

AMST 318  Global Cyphers: Hip Hop Circles Around the World (4) 

AMST 320 Social Construction of Race and Citizenship (4, FaSp) Comparative perspective on the social construction of race and citizenship. Social, economic and political experiences of selected groups in the U.S. are examined.

AMST 326 Latinx Media Studies (4, FaSp) (Enroll in COMM 326)

AMST 328 Asian American Politics (4, FaSp) (Enroll in POSC 328)

AMST 330m Black Music and the Political Imagination (4) Explores the changing political meanings of “Black music” throughout the 20th century, from freedom to a threat to civil order, from racial integration to Black liberation. (Duplicates credit in the former GEOG 350m.)

AMST 331g The Black Atlantic:  Narratives of Migration and Travel (4)
A survey of narratives accounting for the global dimensions of Black migratory experiences between Africa, Europe and the Americas, from early modern trajectories to contemporary times.

AMST 332m Post-Civil Rights Black America (4) Analyzes the political, economic, and cultural experiences of the post-1965 period through an interrogation of contemporary conditions, movements, and responses to power in Black America.

AMST 333 Religion in the Borderlands (4) (Enroll in REL 333)

AMST 336 Re-Viewing Religion in Asian America (4) (Enroll in REL 336)

AMST 337m Islam in Black America: From Slavery to Hip Hop (4) Exploration of the rise of Islam in Black America, and the relationship of Black American Muslims to more recent Muslim immigrants using historical and sociopolitical frameworks.

AMST 340m Latina/o LA (4) Examination of spatial and social patterns of the Latino population in Los ­Angeles. Emphasis on economic, demographic and cultural processes. (Duplicates credit in the former GEOG 340.)

AMST 342m Law and Identities (4) Examines the complex and contested interaction between the law and racial, gender, religious, ethnic, and sexual identities using historical and contemporary cases.

AMST 343 Food, Health and Culture in Los Angeles (4, FaSp)  Examination of Los Angeles’ diverse food cultures as well as the food justice issues that affect many low-income residents of neighborhoods surrounding USC campus.

AMST 344m Islamic Law and American Society (4) Examination of the nature and substance of Islamic law (Shari’a) and how it relates to American democracy, ­society and secularism.

AMST 345 Law and American Indian Studies (4) Examines indigenous sovereignties and the historical andcontemporary legal histories and cases which inform them.

AMST 348m Race and Environmentalism (4) Relationships between environmentalism, environmental problems and racial-ethnic minorities. Rise of environmental justice movement. Assessment of social science methods used to investigate these relationships.

AMST 350 Junior Seminar in American Studies and Ethnicity: Theories and Methods (4, FaSp) Advanced study in interdisciplinary theories and methods for analyzing race and ethnicity in the United States, including a comparative study of topics such as inequality, gender, and class.

AMST 353m Race and Racism in the Americas (4, FaSp) Examination of selected topics in the historical development of racism with the goal of understanding the complex ways in which race has functioned in the modern world.

AMST 357m Latino Social Movements (4, FaSp) Focuses on the political experience of Latinos in the U.S. Comparative analysis of their political experiences and perspectives, their histories of identity formation, and their political organizations.

AMST 364m African American Art (4, FaSp) (Enroll in AHIS 365m)

AMST 365 Leadership in the Community — In­tern­ship (4, FaSp) Eight to 10 hours per week in a community-based internship plus two hour lecture. Theoretical and practical issues associated with community leadership.

AMST 373m History of the Mexican American (4, FaSp) Racial and cultural background of Mexico; immigration and conquest; the Mexican in California and the southwest; the rise of contemporary Mexican-American consciousness. (Duplicates credit in former HIST 472).

AMST 376m Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities (4, FaSp) (Enroll in SOCI 376m)

AMST 378m Introduction to Asian American History (4, FaSp) Comparative examination of the social, economic, and political experiences of Asian immigrants and their descendants in the U.S., 1840s–present. (Duplicates credit in former HIST 378.)

AMST 379 Arabs in America (4, FaSp) Arab immigration and acculturation in the U.S. from late 19th century to present; emphasis on community formation, race, religion and gender.

AMST 380 American Popular Culture (4, FaSp) (Enroll in HIST 380)

AMST 382 America and the World: Japan Case Study (4, Sm) Transnational, global perspective on American culture to examine the relationship between Los Angeles and various cities in Japan. Trip to Japan.

AMST 383 Jews in American Popular ­Culture (4, FaSp) (Enroll in JS 383)

AMST 385 African American Culture and Society (4, Sp) Examines social and cultural issues affecting the past and present lives of African Americans in the United States.

AMST 389m Carceral Geographies (4, FaSp) Focusing on California, interdisciplinary research teams will study why there are so many new U.S. prisons. What is their relationship to shopping malls, gated communities, globalization? Prerequisite: AMST 200.

AMST 390 Special Problems (1–4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration; by petition only.

AMST 392 Undergraduate Research Methods (2, FaSpSm) Examines processes of scholarly research; quantitative and qualitative research methods; faculty mentorship; experiential learning; research proposal writing; careers in research. Sophomore or junior standing in the major. Departmental approval.

AMST 395m African American Humor and Culture (4, FaSp) Examination of one of several traditions of African American humor for insights into shifting notions of race, culture, language and identity in and beyond Black America.

AMST 406 Social Media Storytelling for Latinx Audiences (2) (Enroll in JOUR 406)

AMST 414 Latina/o Screen Culture (4) Examination of Latino/a moving image production including film, video, and digital media in the context of the politics of race, class, gender, sexuality, and international relations. (Enroll in CTCS 414)

AMST 424m Political Participation and American Diversity (4, Fa) (Enroll in POSC 424m)

AMST 428 Latino Politics (4, Fa) (Enroll in POSC 428)

AMST 432m Racial and Ethnic Relations in a Global Society (4, Fa) (Enroll in SOCI 432m)

AMST 440 Graphic America: Reading American Culture Through Graphic Novels (4)  Examine American identity and culture through exploration of graphic novels that vary widely in theme, including ancestry, race, gender, sexuality, throughout American history.

AMST 442 American Literature, 1920 to the Present (4, FaSp) (Enroll in ENGL 442)

AMST 444m Native American Literature (4, FaSp) (Enroll in ENGL 444m)

AMST 445 African American Anthropology (4, FaSp) (Enroll in ANTH 445)

AMST 446 Cultural Circuits in the Americas (4, FaSp) How does culture move within and across the Americas? What are the relationships between new global media conglomerates, “national cultural industries,” and local cultural practices?

AMST 447 Caribbean Literature (4) An introduction to Caribbean studies, using literature and film, with a focus on specific islands examined in their transnational and global contexts.

AMST 448m Chicano and Latino Literature (4, FaSp) Development of poetry, essay, short story and novel of the Chicano and Latino peoples of the United States, with particular emphasis on the differentiating characteristics between the multiple cultures that constitute the Latino populations. (Duplicates credit in former ENGL 448m.)

AMST 449m Asian American Literature (4, FaSp) Survey of Asian American literature from the earliest time to the present; development of prose, poetry and novel.

AMST 452m Race, Gender and Sexuality (4) Examination of sexual discourses in the United States in the context of slavery, empire, sex work, labor markets, schools and prisons.

AMST 456m People of Color and the News Media (4) (Enroll in JOUR 466m)

AMST 458m Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment and the Arts (4, FaSp) (Enroll in COMM 458m)

AMST 464m Latino News Media in the United States (4, Sp) (Enroll in JOUR 465m)

AMST 465 Studies in American Art (4, max 8, FaSp) (Enroll in AHIS 465)

AMST 466m The Psychology of African ­Americans (4, FaSp) Provides an introduction to the study of health, mental health, and social behavior among African Americans.

AMST 475m Blackness in American Visual Culture (4, FaSp) (Enroll in AHIS 475m)

AMST 483 Religion and Popular Culture in the United States (4, Sp) (Enroll in REL 483)

AMST 490x Directed Research (1–8, max 12) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

AMST 492 Research Methods in American Studies and Ethnicity (4, Fa) Develop the research proposal and methods for completing a senior honors thesis; for students in one of the four PASE majors.

AMST 493 Senior Honors Thesis in American Studies and Ethnicity (4, Sp) Writing the honors thesis; for students in one of the four PASE majors and PASE Honors Program.

AMST 498 Senior Seminar in American Studies and Ethnicity (4, FaSp) Capstone course for majors, highlighting interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity in a comparative context. Prerequisite: AMST 200.

AMST 499 Special Topics (2–4, max 8) Special topics in the earth sciences. Field trip required when appropriate to the topic. Departmental approval required.

Contact Us

Department of American Studies & Ethnicity

Located in Kaprielian Hall on the University Park campus, ASE faculty, graduate students, and staff are available to assist you with information and resources about our academic programs and research specialties.


University of Southern California

3620 South Vermont Avenue

Kaprielian Hall 462

Los Angeles, California 90089-2534