HUM-204: Introduction to American Cultural Studies

Liberal Arts
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to American Cultural Studies
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC.
Catalog Course Description

This course is a basic introduction to the study of America and its culture. The course focuses on the ideals, fears, conflicts and realities of American culture over the past centuries. This course will include a wide number of humanities disciplines (visual arts, music, drama, religion, philosophy, literature, and architecture) to explore these topics. The use of popular academic cultural theories will also be presented. This course will explore dominant cultures as well as subcultures that are prevalent in America and the way these cultures shape who we think we are as a nation.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

To increase students’ knowledge of American culture and the narratives that we construct to create a national identity, to introduce students to the methods used to study culture in the humanities, and give students the skills to apply this knowledge to analyze and understand current events and their own world.

Core Course Topics
  1. Cultural theories and the arguments made about how culture is formed
  2. The various stories that make up our collective story of American identity and the importance of those narratives on current events
  3. Dominant cultures and subcultures of both recent and past incarnations of the U.S. story
  4. The inter-related nature of politics, the arts, religion, and culture throughout the life of the U.S.
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Explain major terms and concepts of the cultural theories
  2. Identify and appraise dominant and major subcultures of the country
  3. Identify and critically evaluate cultural periods and social movements
  4. Develop an understanding of how ideology shapes the country and influences the society and its relation to current events
  5. Contrast the various subcultures and what these groups offer to the larger narrative of what it means to “be American”

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  1. Students should have a variety of assessments including written essays, oral presentations, and/or multi-media/multi-genre projects
  2. Students will write at least one essay
  3. Students will complete a minimum of three methods of assessment
General Course Requirements and Recommendations
  1. This course is to be an interdisciplinary study of American culture
  2. While an instructor can choose a specific theme(s) to focus upon, there should be an emphasis on using multiple disciplines and various media to explore with students the story of humankind
  3. Instructors should consider including the subcultures that are prominent in SE Michigan and the Detroit metro area
  4. There should be a mix of both primary and secondary texts


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2022
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2022