American Studies:

The American Studies program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of American identity and the influence the United States has had on the modern world. Using a variety of texts—ranging from eighteenth-century sermons and nineteenth-century novels, to twentieth-century films and twenty-first-century musicals—students explore the origins and evolution of the myths, values, and institutions that have shaped our contemporary understanding of what it is to be an American. 

Students anticipating careers in law, business, public policy, entertainment, communications, education, and journalism have typically chosen the American Studies major.

As a sponsor of programs in law, journalism and environmental studies, the program welcomes students who seek active engagement with the contemporary world through a firm grounding in the ideas, customs, and debates that characterize the traditional liberal arts.

Spring 2018 Important Dates

March 23 - Early Registration for Fall
March 26-29 - Registration for Fall
March 30-April 6 - Spring Recess
April 16 - Patriot's Day (AMST office closed)
April 25 - Brandeis Friday
April 26 - Last Day of Classes
April 30-May 8 - Finals
May 13 - Commencement

Contact Us:

Maura Jane Farrelly
(781) 736-2224

Charity Adams-Brzuchalski
Academic Administrator
(781) 736-3030

Click to view the faculty directory

A Statement from the American Studies Program on the decision 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 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.

What's Going On

What's Going On

Farewell AMST100B!

Please join us in bidding farewell to this springs AMST 100B class:

Standing, left to right:  Brittany Wolfe, Rachel Bossuk, David Aizenberg, Thomas Doherty, Hannah Schuster, Max Gould, Aaron Hersch, Ivana Melendez 

Sitting: Tiana Martinez, Greg Tobin, Michelle Banayan, Valerie Achille, Melanie Charwat

Lying: Michael Harlow


Evan Mahnken '19 Constructs New York Times Crossword Puzzle Only 43rd Person
American Studies major Evan Mahnken ’19 began creating his own crossword puzzles during his freshman year at Brandeis. Now, as a junior, Mahnken is the 43rd individual under 21 years of age to have their own crossword published in The New York Times. Mahnken’s puzzle ran in the October 4 edition of The New York Times. If you did not get a chance to pick up a copy of the October 4 paper, here is an image of the crossword. And if you would like to see more of Mahnken’s crosswords, you can check them out in The Justice, one of Brandeis’ on campus newspapers. 

Cory Hunter 2017-2018 American Studies Post Doc Fellow
Cory HunterAmerican Studies is excited to introduce you to Cory Hunter. Cory has his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from Princeton University. He is currently working on his first book The Politics of Real Spirituality in Gospel Music Discourse and Practice.

During the fall semester, Cory will be teaching AMST 120A The Social and Theological Development of the Black Church in America. The Black Church—in all of its various denominational, theological, and liturgical forms—has been a critical institution in the upward social, political, educational, and economic mobility of African-Americans. It has also nurtured the development of some of the most important musical, rhetorical, and artistic contributions that black Americans have made to the American cultural landscape. This course will introduce students to the complex development of black Christianity in America. Topics include the emergence of various denominations; the development of particular theological, liturgical, and musical traditions; and the impact the black church has had on the political lives of African-Americans. 

Paula Musegades Appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Music and the American Studies Program
Paula MusegadesDr. Paula Musegades is a musicologist with a special interest in Hollywood film music. She will be teaching for both the Music department and American Studies program. She received her Ph.D. in musicology from Brandeis University, and her current research examines American composer Aaron Copland and his role in Hollywood film music.

For the fall 2017 semester, Dr. Musegades will be teaching AMST/MUS 38a American Music: From Psalms to Hip Hop.  This course explores the many varieties of folk, popular, and art music in American culture. It focuses on the stylistic development of select repertoires beginning with 18th century New England Psalm singing and African American traditions and continuing on through folk, jazz, art, pop, rock, and hip hop music. Throughout the course, music serves as a lens to examine diverse aspects of American culture and history with an emphasis on America’s shifting definition of identity. All students are invited to join this class; no musical background is required.