American Studies News

Hollywood History, Hollywood Fiction: A Talk by Farran Smith Nehme

Blogger, author, and New York Post film critic Farran Smith Nehme will be speaking on "Hollywood History, Hollywood Fiction" on Wednesday, October 7 at 4:00 pm in the Usdan International Lounge, Brandeis University. Her recent novel Missing Reels is described as an utterly winning, wholly delightful, totally cinematic debut novel of young love, old movies, and an epic search for a long-lost silent film.

The Forbidden Films of the Third Reich

Professor Thomas Doherty reviews a new documentary film that tackles the question, Nazi propaganda: show it, or bury it?

Where did the stereotype of the Jewish mother actually come from?

Professor Joyce Antler gives a brief history of the universally recognized metaphor for nagging, whining - and unstinting devotion in Haaretz.(PDF)

Julian Seltzer and Amanda Jane Stern present Coerced

When "Coerced" received its first public performances on April 23 and 26, it signaled much more than the completion of a school assignment. This documentary play — all of its dialogue is taken from real-life sources — reflects deep research into the case of Nga Truong, the grieving Worcester 16-year-old who was prompted by an intense interrogation to ‘admit’ to a horrific crime—one that all involved now concede she didn’t actually commit. The crime? Causing the sudden death of her 13-month-old baby boy by smothering him. Read more here.

A Statement from the American Studies Program on the recent move by the American Studies Association to boycott Israel:

It is a with deep regret that we in the American Studies Program at Brandeis University have decided to discontinue our institutional affiliation with the American Studies Association.  We view the recent vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster.  We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture-- freedom of association and expression.

American Studies

American Studies

The American Studies program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the myths, values, symbols, institutions and behavior of the peoples of the United States and to the questions raised by the influence of the United States in shaping the modern world. The American studies major is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the history and major features of American civilization.


Students anticipating careers in law, business, public policy, communications, education, journalism, teaching and careers as professors of American studies, history and literature have typically enrolled in the department.

As a sponsor of programs in law, journalism and environmental studies, the department welcomes students who seek active engagement with the contemporary world through firm grounding in a sound liberal arts education.

Please visit our Upcoming Events page for more information about everything the American Studies Program has to offer!