American Studies examines the breadth and diversity of the American experience. It is an interdisciplinary field that integrates the study of history, literature, popular culture, media, geography, politics, art, and religion in order to critically analyze American society, culture, institutions, and intellectual traditions. Students and faculty in American Studies question what constitutes American culture, and how cultural expressions reflect and reveal American values, beliefs, prejudices, pleasures, and perceptions.
American Studies courses are methodologically grounded in many different areas of cultural studies including media studies, material culture, visual literacy, critical race theory, and gender/sexuality studies. Students are expected to gain competency in American cultural studies by mastering the theoretical and intellectual frameworks of their concentrations and by learning to interpret and analyze primary documents.
Students in history, communication, anthropology, political science, sociology, English and other interdisciplinary programs find it beneficial to double major or minor in American studies. Students who pursue Americans Studies are well prepared for graduate work in the humanities as well as professional training in law or business, and most of our graduates go on to pursue post-graduate degrees.