This American Life


Theme Description: With a focus on the foundations of civic education, this theme leads to an understanding of how the American people created and developed their democratic institutions and social processes; how marginalized groups within the American framework have sought and won access to civic life; and how Americans have expressed their social and individual conscience to shape their identity and place within the world.  

Theme Coordinator:   Dr. Phillip Ardoin



HIS 1200. American History (3) .F;S
This course will acquaint the student with the major developments of American history from pre-contact to post-modern eras. Emphasis will be given to the foundational political experiences of the American people and how political developments have been influenced and affected by social developments. Students will learn to apply analytical skills to the reading of primary texts representing the whole sweep of American history. Written expression will be emphasized. NOTE: HIS 1200 DOES NOT COUNT TOWARD THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A HISTORY MAJOR OR MINOR. (MULTI-CULTURAL) (CORE: SOCIAL SCIENCES)

ENG 2350. Studies in American Literature (3). F;S
A study of major works of American literature. Course content will vary and may concentrate on poetry, fiction, drama, or a combination. Prerequisite: ENG 1000.

ECO 2030. Principles of Economics - Price Theory (3). F;S
A brief introduction to the study of economics followed by an in-depth analysis of microeconomics, including: the price mechanism and supply and demand analysis; consumer choice; cost and revenue analysis of the firm; market structures; factor markets and income distribution; market failure and the role of government; and current economic problems such as pollution, poverty and discrimination. (CORE: SOCIAL SCIENCES)

MUS 2014. Jazz Music in American Society (3).F;S.
Jazz may be the United States’ only original contribution to music. Due to its comparatively recent emergence as a recognized art form, a great deal of confusion exists as to the meaning, origins, development, and the place of jazz relative to other areas of music. This course will define jazz as precisely as possible and show its evolution in the historical background of the United States. Lecture three hours.

PS 1100. American National Government and Politics (3). F;S
A study of the development and operation of the American national government, its powers, organization and policies. (CORE: SOCIAL SCIENCES)

PS 3722. America in the World (3). S
The course provides students with the foundation to understand the historical and contemporary practice of U.S. foreign policy and familiarizes them with patterns of continuity and change in U.S. foreign policy. (WRITING; SPEAKING)

SW 2020. The American Social Welfare System (3).F;S.
An introduction to social welfare as a concept and as a social institution: overview of the public and private network of social programs and services intended to help fulfill basic human needs. Analysis of major social issues, problems, and values which shape social policy and the distribution of resources in the U.S., with attention to several other nations. Visit to human service agency required. (CORE: SOCIAL SCIENCES)


How These Courses Integrate into Theme:

Students in the class HIS1200 American History will learn how to organize, interpret and compare knowledge from other courses in this theme. After gaining this foundational understanding, students will address through various courses one or more major phases of American civic life: the foundations of the early nation, national identity, slavery and Civil War race relations, American imperialism, the Depression and New Deal, World Wars and the Cold War, affluence and poverty and civil rights, America in a global context, and contemporary American society.