American Conversations — or “Amcon” as it is known on campus — is an interdisciplinary learning community open to all St. Olaf students interested in an in-depth exploration of America. Over a sequence of four integrated courses, students examine:
- American culture — from literature to art to film to popular culture
- American history and how that history has been continually reinterpreted over the years
- America’s values and role in the world and what those values and roles should be
- The meaning of citizenship, both in the classroom and the surrounding community
American Conversations is a learning community where students get to know one another both in their conversation-based classes and by living in a common dorm in their first year. “Amconners” also get together for program dinners, field trips, and social events. In Amcon, conversations might start in the classroom and continue over dinner or during a trip to a museum or theater in Minneapolis St. Paul.
Finally, American Conversations is a way for students of all majors to acquire many of their general education course credits in one place — from literary and artistic studies to history and multicultural studies, from writing and oral communications to social sciences.