Courses by semester

Courses for Summer 2024

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
AMST1104 Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Social Constructs, Real World Consequences
This course will examine race and ethnic relations between Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians in the United States. The goal of this course is for students to understand how the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S. affects opportunity structures in, for example, education, employment, housing, and health. Through this course students will gain a better understanding of how race and ethnicity stratifies the lives of individuals in the U.S.

Full details for AMST 1104 - Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Social Constructs, Real World Consequences

AMST2152 (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now
How are migration dynamics produced? How do states and communities respond to and shape complex migration processes? This course will draw on the United States as a case study, focusing on Latino immigrants. Latinos are by far the largest immigrant group in the U.S., representing about 50% of all immigrants. Additionally, the U.S. has historically received the largest number of immigrants in the world. The class will examine the main debates around migration in fields such as Latino studies, migration studies, and political science. We begin with a historical and contemporary survey of global and regional migration trends. Next, we will review theories explaining why people migrate and how countries manage migration processes. We then focus on the U.S. immigration apparatus, examining past and present changes, including migration public policies. Central to this class is the exploration of multiple systems of marginalization that shape the opportunities, material conditions, and lived experiences of immigrants in the U.S. We conclude with an exploration of historical and contemporary migrant-led forms of resistance, such as the Immigrant Rights Movement, and its linkages to other transnational struggles for social justice.

Full details for AMST 2152 - (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now

AMST2371 Planet Rap: Where Hip Hop Came From and Where It's Going
Since hip hop first emerged in the South Bronx nearly half a century ago, it has grown into a global movement. Youth around the world not only consume hip hop; they also create their own, adapting hip hop music, texts, dance, and visual culture to local realities. This course traces the ongoing connections between hip hop's roots in the cultural expression of marginalized African American and Latinx youth in the postindustrial urban United States, its contemporary relationship to US popular culture, and its routes around the globe, where diverse practitioners mobilize its beats, rhymes, and visual culture to address experiences of oppression and displacement, celebrate life, and agitate for social justice.

Full details for AMST 2371 - Planet Rap: Where Hip Hop Came From and Where It's Going

Winter, Summer.
AMST2372 Songs of the Summer: Social Histories of U.S. Popular Music
This course takes a selection of hit "songs of the summer" from the past fifty years as entry points into pivotal moments in U.S. history. Popular music not only reflects social issues; it also shapes public perception and at can fuel social change, from contexts ranging from the civil rights movement, to US imperialist projects, to the HIV/AIDs crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, movements like BlackLivesMatter and MeToo, and struggles for trans rights.

Full details for AMST 2372 - Songs of the Summer: Social Histories of U.S. Popular Music

AMST3071 Enduring Global and American Issues Fall, Spring, Summer.
AMST3141 Prisons
The United States stands alone among Western, industrialized countries with its persistent, high rates of incarceration, long sentences, and continued use of the death penalty. This "American exceptionalism" -- the turn to mass incarceration -- has been fostered by the use of sharply-delineated categories that define vast numbers of people as outlaws and others as law-abiding. These categories that are based on ideas of personal responsibility and assumptions about race are modified somewhat by a liberal commitment to human rights.   Our purpose in this course is to understand how such ideas have taken root and to locate the consequences of these ideas for policy and practice. 

Full details for AMST 3141 - Prisons

Winter, Summer.
AMST3214 Dance in America: Cultures, Identities, and Fabrication
This course explores dance across multiple stages—TikTok videos, concert halls, streets—to assess how people create, sustain, and challenge markers of difference (race, gender, sexuality, ability, and class). How is dance appreciation different from appropriation? What are dancing avatars in video games allowed to do that real persons are not? We will examine genres such as k-pop, hip hop, salsa, modern dance, and ballroom as we develop the tools necessary for viewing dance, analyzing it, and understanding its place in larger social, cultural, historical, and political structures. We will explore how markers of difference affect the practice and the reception of dance forms, and, in turn, how dance helps shape representations of identities.

Full details for AMST 3214 - Dance in America: Cultures, Identities, and Fabrication