Exploring the Diversity of American Culture
American Culture and Difference* is an interdisciplinary minor that offers students a critical perspective on the diversity of "American Culture." Students consider ways in which music, film advertisements, folklore, literature, television, and art shape daily life in the United States, form cultural and national identity, construct racial and ethnic identity, and create a sense of "high" and "low" culture.
Drawing from a range of participating departments, the minor explores the full range of symbols, mythologies, practices, and histories that contribute to the complexity and diversity of the American experience. Students are encouraged not only to make connections between disciplines but also to engage in analysis that discovers links and tensions between vernacular and elite culture, as well as among multiple cultural identities and affiliations.
The minor re-examines representations of mainstream American culture and the productions of alternative and oppositional cultures, highlighting the experiences and struggles of communities that have historically been marginalized because of their class, gender, racial or sexual identities. Put simply, American Culture and Difference emphasizes diversity as a defining element of American culture.