Interdisciplinary Studies Major(IDIS)
Holloway Hall

Interdisciplinary Studies Major (IDIS)

Contact Information

Ivan Young
Site Coordinator
Eastern Shore Higher Education Center Satellite Program
410-822-5400 ext. 2366

Download Program PDF

Course Snapshots

History 413: Social and Cultural History of the United States II Through texts, video and images, examine chronological themes in the development of American thought and how it relates to social realities from the end of the Civil War to the present. How did the Civil War influence philosophy? Why did Darwin, anarchists and Communists cause so many headaches? Is there a dark side to the 1924 Immigration Act? Why did big cities inspire novelists at the turn of the century? What did the automobile leave in its tracks, culturally speaking? Also explore changing notions of race from Jim Crow to Spike Lee. In short, what exactly were Americans thinking and assuming in the last 130 years? Perhaps, students will stumble on an American “personality” palpable today and rooted in the past.
-Dr. Thomas Goyens


MUSC 222:  Popular Music After 1945 “Rock and Roll Called Communicable Disease” read a New York Times headline on June 18, 1956. When rock ‘n’ roll first met the press, the experts were at a loss to explain the youth’s enjoyment of this new “cannibalistic and tribalistic” form of music. How did this music that caused shock waves become America’s proud cultural export? Survey the history of popular music, from its roots in blues, jazz, gospel and country music to the music of today, and examine the important relationships between society, ethnicity, economics and music. Dr. Danielle Cumming

ENGL 379: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance Explore the cultural and literary phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance, discussing myths of its origin, as well as critiques that abound challenging that it even occurred at all. Close reading of assigned texts – which will include work from authors including Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston and Dorothy West – are at the heart of the coursework. Expect to be exposed to some basic literary and critical race theory that will aid in efforts to demystify and, to some extent, experience the material produced during this period. – Dr. James Sterling King

American Studies Track

The Fulton School of Liberal Arts offers a major in Interdisciplinary Studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.  Students may choose to complete the Interdisciplinary Studies major via a personally-tailored Individually Designed Track or though one of three other more program-specific tracks.  Most importantly, the IDIS major gives students the opportunity to integrate information across disciplines to help gain a more complete understanding of the chosen area(s) of study.

Why American Studies?

  • Diverse course offerings for personal, academic and professional growth
  • Customizable program based on student interest, grounded with a central focus
  • Flexible course scheduling for both traditional students and working professionals
  • Build effective communication, analytical, and research skills
  • Distance learning through satellite location

About the Track

As part of the interdisciplinary studies major, the American studies track combines various disciplines from the arts, humanities and social sciences to provide students with a liberal arts degree focused on the American experience (history, culture, society and institutions) and its role in a globalizing world. The topics of courses range from a core of history, literature and political science to environmental studies and the arts. Through these disciplines, students build the skills necessary for employment in a knowledge-based economy or to further their studies in graduate or law school.

Interdisciplinary Studies

The goal of interdisciplinary studies is to hone the skills of analysis/critical thinking, effective communication, research and writing. The major offers students the opportunity to complete a degree tailored to their academic and professional interests by meshing courses from more than one discipline.

Satellite Program

Starting in fall 2013, students who have earned an Associate of Arts in liberal arts from Chesapeake College may complete the SU B.A. requirements for American studies on the Wye Mills campus, through the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center (ESHEC). A site coordinator will be available at the higher education center to advise students in the program. Students pursuing the American studies track, having completed an A.A. in liberal arts from Chesapeake College, can apply as a transfer student to Salisbury University as normal. They may then use a combination of distance learning courses, hybrid courses and online classes to complete their remaining requirements for a degree without leaving the Wye Mills campus.

Upcoming Courses

Fall 2013 courses available to SU students studying through ESHEC include:

  • ENGL 379: Literature of the
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • ENGL 380: American Literature – Beginnings to 1800
  • MUSC 222: Popular Music After 1945
  • HIST 371: Classical Mythology
  • HIST 413: Social and Cultural History of the United States II

These courses are also open to any SU student, whether or not they are part of the American studies track.

Track Requirements

Students must complete five courses for the American studies track core. For the remaining five courses of the track, students work closely with a track coordinator to develop a program centered on their interests. In addition to choosing from a pre-determined list of courses, topics courses with appropriate content may be used for the track with coordinator approval.

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