American Studies Major

Uncle SamAmerican Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the culture, society, politics, institutions, identities, thoughts, values and behavior of Americans, in all their variety, and to the critical issues that confront the United States domestically and internationally.

Using materials central to the disciplines of American Studies — film, literature, popular and material culture, music, art, theology, journalism, law, architecture, oral history, and social and intellectual history — the major is designed to provide students with an educated awareness of the way of the United States, viewed as a civilization, frames the lives, aspirations and self-perceptions of its citizens, and how Americans are seen by people around the world.

Typically, students who enroll anticipate careers in law, business, public service, communications, education, journalism, museum work and teaching at all levels. As the sponsor of the programs in legal studies, journalism and environmental studies, the American Studies major aims to provide a broad background to those areas, and welcomes students who seek active engagement with the contemporary world through firm grounding in a sound liberal arts education.