George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Study of the Americas Courses (STAM)


Study of the Americas

201 News Media in the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 30 hours. Examination of the operation and impact of news media in the Americas. Topics include the institutions of news production and distribution, the generation and formation of news, the ideological nature and impact of news, the relationships between the news media and the economic, political, and cultural structures and practices of the various regions of the Americas.

202 Popular Culture in the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 30 hours. Examination of the popular cultures of the Americas. Topics include the institutions for the production and distribution of popular culture, the generation and formation of popular culture forms, the idealogical nature and impact of popular culture forms, and the relationships between the institutions and practices of popular culture and the economic, political, and broader cultural structures and practices of the various regions of the Americas.

303, 304 Introduction to the Study of the Americas I, II (3:3:0)(3:3:0). Prerequisite: 30 hours. The first course in a two-semester introduction to the study of the diverse yet related regions, societies, cultures, and peoples of the Americas. STAM 303 focuses on selected topics up to 1800; STAM 304 introduces selected topics since 1800. The courses introduce students to the various methodologies involved in the study of the histories and cultures of the Americas. Students majoring in the Study of the Americas should take this two-course sequence in order, and before all other courses in the major. Preference in enrollment is given to majors in the Study of the Americas. Enrollment is limited to 30.

310 Places and the Study of the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 45 hours. Examination of the relationship between natural and social space and the various societies and cultures of the Americas in the overall historical context of their economic, political, and ideological structures and practices. Particular subtitles¬often drawn from the fields of geography and literature¬will be announced. The course may be repeated when the subtitle and content of the course are different.

320 Peoples and the Study of the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 45 hours. Examination of the relationships between the various peoples of the Americas in the overall historical context of their economic, political, and ideological structures and practices. Particular subtitles¬often drawn from the fields of anthropology, art history, history, and sociology¬will be announced. The course may be repeated when the subtitle and content of the course are different.

330 Eras and the Study of the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 45 hours. Examination of the relationship between specific historic eras and the various societies and cultures of the Americas in the overall historical context of their economic, political, and ideological structures and practices. Particular subtitles¬often drawn from the fields of art history and history¬will be announced. The course may be repeated when the subtitle and content of the course are different.

340 Institutions and the Study of the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 45 hours. Examination of the relationship between specific institutions and the various societies and cultures of the Americas in the overall historical context of their economic, political, and ideological structures and practices. Particular subtitles¬often drawn from the fields of anthropology, communication, public affairs, and sociology¬will be announced. The course may be repeated when the subtitle and content of the course are different.

401 Thematic Approaches to the Study of the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours. Intensive study of a significant theme, problem, question, conflict, or possibility that furthers our understanding of the societies and cultures of the Americas. Particular subtitles will be announced. The course may be repeated when the subtitle and content of the course are different. Preference in enrollment is given to majors in the Study of the Americas.

410 Senior Seminar in the Study of the Americas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Majors in the Study of the Americas with 90 hours. A capstone course in which students investigate a specialized topic (chosen by the professor) from the perspective of their individualized concentration in the major. Each student will successfully complete a research project that results in a seminar paper of 25 to 30 pages. The seminar is offered in the spring semester, and students should plan their schedules accordingly.

490 Internship in the Study of the Americas (3-12:0:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and permission of the program director. Nonpaying, work-study positions in organizations concerned with the Americas. Internships are available with organizations such as government agencies, nongovernment agencies, public interest groups, labor unions, political parties, political activist groups, publications, religious groups, and businesses. Three credits are the usual load, but an internship semester is also possible. Opportunities and requirements for an internship can be discussed with the director of the program. Specific arrangements must be made with, and approved by, the faculty adviser and the program director. Placement depends on availability of positions, and preference is given to majors in the Study of the Americas.

499 Independent Research in the Study of the Americas (1-6:0:0). Prerequisites: Majors in the Study of the Americas with 75 hours, and permission of instructor and program director. Intensive investigation of a particular question or problem related to the study of the Americas. The project is proposed by an individual student and carried out in consultation with a member of the center faculty.

502 Problems in the Study of the Americas (1-6:3:0). Prerequisite: Majors in the Study of the Americas with at least 15 hours of STAM courses above 300; or senior standing and permission of the instructor; or possession of the baccalaureate degree. Examination of a particular aspect or problem or question in the study of the Americas. Particular subtitles will be announced. The course may be repeated when the subtitle and content of the course are different.


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