College of Arts and Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program
 John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts (JRC) 339, (651) 962-5649
Contact: Kanishka Chowdhury 

American Culture and Difference Department Web Site

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 on perspectives from a number of participating departments and programs (e.g. Art History, Communication and Journalism, English, History, Music, Political Science, Sociology, Theater, Theology, and Women’s Studies), the American Culture and Difference minor examines the symbols, practices, and histories which contribute to the complexity and variety of the “America” experience. In addition to making connections among disciplines, students will be encouraged to engage in analysis that discovers linkages and tensions between vernacular and elite culture, as well as among diverse and 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 been historically 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. Given its emphasis on the diversity and multiplicity of cultural experience and its interdisciplinary focus on the various strands that comprise the fabric of a given culture, the minor in American Culture and Difference is particularly suited to provide students with the critical framework necessary to be effective and ethical participants in an increasingly globalized civic and economic environment.

Minor in American Culture and Difference

  • AMCD 200 American Culture and Difference: Power and Identity(4 credits)
  • AMCD 450 American Culture and Difference Capstone (0 credits)
  • Plus twenty (20) additional credits (with no more than eight credits from a single department) from the list below. At least 4 credits must be at the 300 level or higher. No more than 8 credits from 100-level courses.

Elective Options:

  • ARTH 202: History of Street Art
  • ARTH 284 Arts of the African Diaspora (4 credits) 
  • ARTH 321 The Art and Culture of Modern Mexico (1824-1940) (4 credits) 
  • COMM 326 Communication in Pop Culture (4 credits) 
  • COMM 328 Communication of Race, Class, and Gender (4 credits) 
  • COMM 332 Documentary: American Culture (4 credits)* 
  • COMM 338 Political Communication (4 credits) 
  • COMM 340 Television Criticism (4 credits)  
  • DIMA 342 Media, Culture and Society (4 credits) 
  • ENGL 214 American Authors I (4 credits)* 
  • ENGL 215 American Authors II (4 credits) 
  • ENGL 373 Contemporary American Literature (4 credits) 
  • ENGL 395 Issues in Literature, Language, and Culture (4 credits) 
  • FILM 230: Race and Representation in Contemporary US Film
  • GEOG 340 Geography of the U.S. and Canada (4 credits) 
  • HIST 113 Early American History (4 credits)* 
  • HIST 114 Modern U.S. from s Global Perspective (4 credits)* 
  • HIST 117 Latin America in Global Perspective (4 credits) 
  • HIST 207 Slavery in the Americas (4 credits) 
  • HIST 211 Women and Family in the Americas (4 credits)* 
  • HIST 216 African-American History (4 credits)* 
  • HIST 303 History of Modern Brazil (4 credits) 
  • JOUR 262 Literary Journalism (4 credits)* 
  • JPST 280 Active Nonviolence (4 credits)* 
  • JPST 355 Public Policy Planning and Advocacy (4 credits)* 
  • JPST 365 Leadership for Social Justice (4 credits)* 
  • JPST 375 Conflict Analysis and Transformation (4 credits)* 
  • MUSC 162 Roots of Blues, Rock, Country (4 credits)* 
  • MUSC 216 Jazz in America (4 credits) 
  • MUSC 230 Music of the Americas (4 credits) 
  • POLS 205 Citizen Participation and Public Policy (4 credits)* 
  • POLS 301 Political Identity and Participation (4 credits) 
  • POLS 302 Women and Politics (4 credits)* 
  • SOCI 110 Social Problems (4 credits)* 
  • SOCI 251 Race and Ethnicity (4 credits) 
  • SOCI 350 Social Inequality: Privilege and Power (4 credits)* 
  • SPAN 332 Survey of Latin American Culture and Civilization (4 credits) 
  • THEO 450 Theology and Mass Media (4 credits)* (to be changed to THEO 223) 
  • THTR 223 American Theater (History of Theater III) (4 credits) 


American Culture & Difference Undergraduate Courses

Course Number Title Credits
AMCD  200 American Culture: Power/Identi 4
AMCD  450 Capstone Project 0
AMCD  476 Experiential Learning 1 TO 4
AMCD  478 Intern/Experiential Learning 0