Fall 2012 Courses

Uncle Sam's 'I Want You' ImageImportant Note! American Studies courses are part of the King's College CORE Curriculum.* When you're choosing a course, keep the following things in mind:

  • You MUST take one course from the Social Sciences category (CORE 150-159), one from the American Studies category (CORE 180-189), and one from the Global Studies category (CORE 190-199). That's three total courses.
  • One of those three courses MUST be CORE 150, CORE 180, or CORE 190.
  • If you take CORE 150, you cannot get CORE credit by taking CORE 180 or CORE 190.
  • If you take CORE 180, you cannot get CORE credit by taking CORE 150 or CORE 190.
  • If you take CORE 190, you cannot get CORE credit by taking CORE 150 or CORE 180.

*If your first year at King's begins in the fall semester of 2008 or later, this all applies to you. Remember that your CORE and major requirements are set by the College Catalog in effect when you enter school, and older catalogs prescribe a different version of the CORE.

The American Dream

Dr. Valerie Kepner
(MW 2:00; TTh 11:00)

An introduction to the goals, methods, theories, and research findings associated with the various fields comprising the social sciences as they apply to the study of the American Dream. Students will analyze American behaviors and American institutions in order to understand the American Dream's influence on human behavior, the ways in which societies are organized in order to perpetuate or stifle the American Dream, and the interrelationships of various societal institutions as far as such interrelationships further (or not) the American Dream. Knowledge of the substance, motivation, and consequences of both individual and collective human behavior is essential to the liberally educated person. No educated person can hope to comprehend the complexity of contemporary society without some understanding of how that society is organized and how its various components relate to one another. Economic, political, psychological, historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives provide insights into human behavior and relationships in a complex world. This course will focus on the American Dream while incorporating the social science disciplines of economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, history, and psychology. 


Dr. David Sosar
(TTh 9:30; 12:30; 2:00)

At the center of the American cultural experience lies the story of immigration. This course investigates an introduction to the social sciences through the theme of U.S. immigration. The course focuses on a basic understanding of research methods, concepts and models used by social scientists in their respective fields, but through the framework of immigrants to American both past and present. Along with developing an appreciation of the social sciences, students will gain an insight into the groups that have helped to shape the culture of American today. This course will also encourage students to examine the ages, stages, and processes by which women and men born elsewhere emigrated to the United States for political, economic, social, and cultural reasons. 

CORE 181
American Civilization to 1914

Dr. Thomas Mackaman
(MWF 8:00; 10:00; 11:00; 1:00)

The study of American civilization is "celebration as well as it is critique." It examines achievements and failures; triumphs and tragedies; hopes and frustrations. The study utilizes static data to evaluate and to analyze the dynamic forces and ideas by which men and women have shaped the American story of their times. This discipline asks that students focus on the past that they might see the present more clearly as well as better respond to the forces and ideas of our times. Students should develop their ability to judge and decide both private and public issues in a context which respects appropriate traditions. American Civilization focuses on the development of the United States from its earliest times to its emergence as a significant world power at the beginning of the 20th century. This course requires the student to acknowledge the complexity and variety of the unique American democratic experience and to recognize the painful price paid by so many in the past for the achievements enjoyed in the present. The major political, economic, social, cultural, and technological events and forces of the period 1600-1914 will be examined in this course. 

CORE 187
American Social Concerns

Mr. Louis Palmeri (MWF 8:00)
Ms. Mary Dysleski (TTh 12:30)

This course helps students answer the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" by exploring the major social issues of the past decade. Students will explore the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of various issues, gaining a broad understanding of how each issue shapes, and is shaped by, our collective identity as U.S. citizens. By challenging students to develop and examine their own informed opinions about current social issues, they will become more responsible and informed participants in American civic life. Issues that may be covered include the changing demographics of the United States; inequalities of race, ethnicity, gender, and social class; health care; the environment; families and social policy; drug policy; immigration past and present. 

CORE 188
American Government

Dr. Joseph Rish (MWF 9:00)
Dr. Ayesha Ray (MWF 12:00)

This course will focus on fundamental political principles and concepts as applied to the American political system. Students will examine the formal structure of American government, its basic political institutions, and the political problems created by American society and culture. Political behavior and socialization will be emphasized, particularly as these phenomena contribute to an understanding of the policy-making process in the United States. The diversity of influences within the United States's political system will require study of the significant economic, social, cultural, and technological events and forces responsible for defining the substance and the structure of American government.