The minor in American Culture and Difference consists of 7 courses (24 credits).

  • ACST 200 Foundations of American Culture & Difference (4 credits)
    In ACST 200, students learn about the historical and theoretical foundations of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline and use cultural theory to analyze a variety of cultural products and representations. In this course, students look specifically at dominant and subversive constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, national and sexual identities, and how these constructions are deployed through cultural practices and productions such as sports, film and television, folklore and popular culture, youth subcultures, music, and so on. For example, the course may contain units on "nation" and the creation of American mythologies; the process of hero-making in American history; stereotypes and the representation of race and ethnicity in television and film; representations of gender and sexuality in advertising; as well as a section on American music from jazz, blues, folk and roots music, to rock and roll, punk, and hip-hop. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum.
  • ACST 450 American Culture & Difference Capstone Project (0 credits)*
    The American Culture and Difference Capstone Project will integrate learning from the ACST 200 course and elective courses that compose each student’s ACD Minor. It will articulate and enhance the interdisciplinary studies of an ACD minor and synthesize that learning in a culminating project that is presented in a public forum at the end of the fall or spring semester. This project can take the form of knowledge production (i.e.: article, essay, or research) or cultural production (i.e.: music, poetry, visual art, creative writing); guidance from an ACD faculty advisor will be provided. Registration is restricted to American Culture and Difference minors in their senior year. Prerequisite: ACST 200.

    * This capstone project is required of all ACD students who begin their studies at St. Thomas in Fall 2017 or later; it is optional for students who joined St. Thomas prior to that date.
  • Five elective courses (20 credits) from the lists below and other approved courses, with no more than two courses from a single department

Independent studies, courses from other ACTC schools, study abroad courses, and up to two 100-level courses may be applied toward the minor with the approval of the program director, Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury (

To ensure interdisciplinary breadth in the program, students are encouraged to sample as broadly as possible among the course offerings of participating departments with at least four credits from each of the categories listed below and no more than eight credits from a single department.

GEOG 340 Geography of the U.S. and Canada (4 credits)

HIST 116 African-American History in Global Perspective (4 credits)

HIST 210 Modern Latin America 1800 to the Present (4 credits)

HIST 465 Capstone Seminar in History of the Americas (4 credits)

POLI 301 Political Identity and Participation (4 credits)

SOCI 251 Race and Ethnicity (4 credits)

SPAN 332 Latin American Culture and Civilization (4 credits)

ARTH 284 Arts of the African Diaspora (4 credits)

ARTH 321 The Art and Culture of Modern Mexico (1824-1940) (4 credits)

ARTH 352 Art in the United States (4 credits)

ENGL 215 American Authors II (4 credits)

ENGL 373 Contemporary American Literature (4 credits)

ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (select topics only; 4 credits)

MUSC 216 Jazz in America (4 credits)

MUSC 217 Music of the Americas (4 credits)

MUSC 218 Black American Music: A Historical Survey (4 credits)

MUSC 219 Music in the United States (4 credits)

THTR 223 American Theater (History of Theater III) (4 credits)

COJO 326 Communication in Pop Culture (4 credits)

COJO 328 Communication of Race, Class, and Gender (4 credits)

COJO 334 Literary Journalism (4 credits)

COJO 338 Political Communication (4 credits)

COJO 340 Television Criticism (4 credits)

COJO 342 Media, Culture and Society (4 credits)

COJO 352 Media, Structure and Power (4 credits)