American Identities (UNST 212)

SINQ Description

This course introduces the American Identities cluster. Using historical and contemporary voices, this class explores how traditions and tensions within the United States and North America shape its cultures and sense of being "American."  The specific focus of individual American Identities SINQ classes may differ, but each will examine the significance of key American narratives, artifacts, policies, and places, and will apply perspectives ranging from the arts and humanities and social sciences.  Each class will also apply the methods of cultural, historical, and other modes of analysis.

Junior Cluster Description

American Studies examines the tensions, contradictions, traditions, and possibilities that define the American experience. Using perspectives from the humanities and social sciences, students will investigate ethical, social, political, geographic, and cultural developments. Courses may explore film, archaeology, literature, conflict resolution, music, as well as gender and sexualities in order to compare diverse American identities and how they have changed over time. Each class will examine key American narratives, symbols, policies, and places and can apply a broad range of cultural and historical perspectives.

Featured Pathways



  • Anthropology
  • Black Studies
  • Chicano/Latino Studies
  • Community Development
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Indigenous Nations Studies
  • Music History
  • Political Science
  • Real Estate Development
  • Secondary Education
  • Sexualities, Gender & Queer Studies
  • Sociology
  • Sustainable Urban Development
  • Women's Studies
  • Explore Sustainability Pathways

American Identities Course List 

American Identities Learning Outcomes

Cluster Coordinator: 
Marie Lo, Ph.D., Professor of English

Office Number: 
FMH M410
PSU Phone: