Welcome to American Studies
American Studies is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of all things American. An inquiry into the many varieties of American culture, past and present, the major seeks to provide students with a historical perspective on the United States and an educated awareness of the ways in which the nation has shaped both the lives of its citizens and those of diverse peoples around the globe.
The curriculum embraces a wide range of cultural expressions, including literature, film, music, art, architecture and digital media. Students who enroll may anticipate careers in such diverse fields as law, business, public service, foreign affairs, education, journalism and entertainment. As the sponsor of programs in legal studies and journalism, the department aims to provide a broad background to those areas and welcomes students who seek active engagement with the contemporary world through a firm grounding in the liberal arts.
Students in American Studies have ample opportunity to do an individually designed research project one-on-one with a faculty member or to pursue a program of specialized readings on topics not covered in regular courses (AMST 97a, b and AMST 98a, b). Many students also pursue off-campus internships under the supervision of a faculty member (AMST 92a, b).
Additionally, the American Studies department stresses the importance of studying America in comparison to other cultures; therefore, many of our students study abroad for a semester or the full year (typically the junior year) in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia, China, Japan, India or Israel. Each year, we bring returning travelers together to share the lessons learned from studying America from a foreign perspective.
Also available are excellent domestic programs at other universities, such as the internship/study programs in American politics at American University in Washington, D.C.