American studies to combine history and literature


American Studies is a second semester class that will combine US History and American Literature.

Emily Busch, News editor

In an effort to encourage deeper thought and foster better class discussions, Ms. Megan Kern and Ms. Anne Marie Dominguez designed a class to start in the 2011-2012 school year, American Studies, that combines US History and American literature.

American Studies offers a new type of class to the high school curriculum. “Part of it was to create an alternative effort to have innovative classes. We wanted students who didn’t want to take APUSH or American Lit to have a chance to bump it up,” said Ms. Dominguez, English teacher.

The English and Social Studies Departments hope to help students to become deeper thinkers. “It was an effort to show the connections between history and the arts,” said Ms. Kern, history teacher.

As a new class, it will only be offered second semester but will hopefully be extended in the future. “Right now it is just semester two, but we want to make it a full year,” said Ms. Kern.

American Studies will go deeper than either US History or American Literature would go on its own because of the wider range of studied material. “We want to force students to see how entwined historical events are to the art that results from them. We will not just focus on literature, but all American art that results from history,” said Ms. Kern.

Ms. Kern and Ms. Dominguez believe that the new style of teaching has much to offer the students. “This is a new way of teaching for us. It is exciting and we are open to collaborating with a colleague — we think it will offer kids something new,” said Ms. Kern.

With the new class students will have a chance to take something more challenging without taking an AP class. “We are hoping for engaging conversations, where students see the broader picture of relevance of art and history brought together,” said Ms. Dominguez.

Ms. Dominguez believes that the class will be a great opportunity for students. “We are looking for adventurous students and hoping for one section to test it out because it is a great way to teach US History and American Lit to everyone,” said Ms. Dominguez.