American Studies encourages junior students to appreciate the richness and diversity of the United States by exploring its culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. Through an inquiry-based study of American narratives using artifacts (novels, films, poems, primary source documents, short stories, and others), American Studies integrates the disciplines of English and social studies. Key questions about the American experience help unify the course by erasing disciplinary distinctions between social studies and English; attempting to answer these key questions, students - and instructors - pursue a larger understanding of what it means to be an American. Learning activities include reading, research, composition, reflection, and oral presentation, in both individual and collaborative modes. American Studies is a team-taught, double-period course. Two sections meet together daily in a large-group setting for 85 minutes. Students should expect to complete daily homework equivalent to two major courses. As instructors seek to create an integrated experience for students, many assessments will be common between the two disciplines. This course fulfills the New Trier graduation requirements in both junior English and U.S. History, and students receive grades in both courses. As in all junior English courses, American Studies students are required to complete a junior theme experience, an independent research paper synthesizing literature and history.
OPEN TO JUNIORS. PREREQUISITE: ENGLISH 2 AND WORLD HISTORY. 1 CREDIT ENGLISH / 1 CREDIT SOCIAL STUDIES.
Caitlin Ayala & Katherine Schindler
Laura Malia & Dan Licata
Todd Maxman & Aileen Heidkamp
Colby Vargas & David Noskin
James Wright & Egle Baliukaite
Alex Zilka & Lissa Raguseo
American Studies Information
These links are documents that resulted from discussions in our course committee meetings, observations at other schools and research on integrated and interdisciplinary studies.