American University of Beirut

Academic Programs

​​​​​​​​Our faculty provides interdisciplinary coursework to students from all departments of the university. While our classes can be taken as electives, students also have the option of completing an undergraduate minor in American studies. In addition to focusing on the role of the Americas in the Middle East​, our unique approach to American Studies also emphasizes the cultural richness of both regions, as well as the ongoing history of movement between them. Our course offerings pay special attention to the historical, living relationship that exists between the Americas and the rest of the world, and the cross-currents of mutual influence that run between the US and the Middle East. Comprised of the center's director, the Edward Said Chair in American studies, an assistant​ professor, and various instructors, our faculty works hard to ensure that the teaching aspect of our three-part mission is a central component of CASAR's work. ​​

    Minor in American Studies

    ​American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that critically examines the connections among American literature, arts, culture, religions, economics and politics. The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) has a particular interest in encounters between the United States and the Middle East. 

    Interested students can declare a Minor in American Studies by going to the “Useful Forms" part of the FAS website or follow this link.

    Requirements for a Minor in American Studies, 15 credits (minimum): 

    • AMST 215 Introduction to American Studies (3 credits)
    • One other AMST course (3 credits)
    • Three elective courses from other departments with American Studies content or relevance (9 credits total)  

    Qualifying Course Options:

    Current Courses:

    AMST 215: Intro. to American Studies by Rana Baghdadi

    ENGL 209: Survey of American Literature by Sirene Harb

    THTR 269: A Workshop in Theatre Production by Robert Myers and Lucien Bou Rjeily

    Core Course (required): AMST 215 Introduction to American Studies

    American Studies elective (any one required): AMST 220 Shock of Modernity in America; AMST 230 Cultural Geography of North American;​​ AMST 240 America in the Middle East/Middle East in America; AMST 265/266 Special Topics in American Society (carries Social Science credit); AMST 275/276 Special Topics in American Humanities (carries Humanities credit)

    Electives from other departments (at least three courses required*):

    • ARCH 023 Form, Event, Ideology: The American City as Case Study
    • ENGL 209 Survey of American Literature
    • ENGL 216 Drama
    • ENGL 219 Film as Text
    • ENGL 222 Literature and Cultural Studies
    • ENGL 224 Early American Literature
    • ENGL 225 Modern American Literature
    • ENGL 226 Contemporary American Literature
    • ENGL 241 Transnational Literatures
    • HIST 200 Introduction to the History of the United States
    • HIST 271 Race, Class, Gender: Introduction to American Social History
    • HIST 272 Economic History of the United States
    • HIST 273 The United States and the Middle East
    • HIST 274 The United States in the Twentieth Century
    • HIST 278/279 Special Topics in United States History
    • MCOM 201 Intro to Media Studies 
    • MCOM 204 From Telegraph to Twitter: Media History (formerly 263)
    • MCOM 219 Media Depictions of Society (formerly 262)    
    • MCOM 222 Introduction to Visual Culture Studies
    • MCOM 290E On Television
    • MEST 315M Making of the Modern Middle East
    • PHIL 263A Contemporary Philosophical Movements: American Pragmatism and Its Critics
    • PSPA 220 Globalization and Culture
    • PSPA 237 The Middle East in International Politics since WWI
    • PSPA 251 Politics and Government: United States of America
    • PSPA 293 D Senior Seminar in International Politics: US in the Middle East
    • SOAN 215 Anthropology of America

    * In addition, new courses including special topics courses in other departments and programs may occasionally be related to American Studies. Students can petition to apply such a course toward the requirements for the Minor, which must be approved first by the CASAR director and then by the FAS Curriculum Committee.

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