LSMA Intro to American Studies

Jan 2007

A very bad introduction to the American Studies LSMA program, I think. I am happy that I took this course (a requirement for the degree) first-- to get it out of the way; but Professor Bushman almost soured me on the whole program. Her view, or at least the one she represents in class, is that "American Studies" is best introduced or surveyed from the perspective of New York in the early 1900s-- and is even more limited to the going-ons of "real" New Yorkers (that certain American-dream-esque Henry James romantic middle-upper class higher echelon). She said some borderline-offensive comments regarding historically marginalized peoples in the United States ("minorities") and was not as helpful or excited to help with final projects of students whose projects do not concern New York, 1900s. I was so disappointed in this class, really. Her classroom- manner is condescending at best, and dismissive at worst. Unrelated to this review (or perhaps related,) is the fact that another "required" class of the American Studies LSMA degree is taught by a professor of equal disdain, Diana Bowstead (Research Seminar.) I only wish the LSMA American Studies department would heed the recommendations of its students and seek to reform its policies and faculty to reflect its student body and its student body's interests. It is shameful that the introductory course is so limited in its scope.