Apr 12, 2021  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

American Studies Program

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Programs

Program Director:

                  Professor Maura D’Amore

Affiliated Faculty:

                  Kristin Dyskstra
                  Nathaniel Lewis (English)
                  Robert Niemi (English)
                  Susan Ouellette (History)
                  Raymond Patterson (Religious Studies)
                  Lorrie Smith (English)
                  Joan Wry (English)    


American Studies engages students in the interdisciplinary study of the cultures and politics of the United States and the Americas, past and present. Through its exploration of American traditions, institutions, geography, arts, and mass culture, the program exposes students to a diversity of American perspectives and identities. Central to our major is an investigation of the intersectionalities of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and citizenship in the examination of American experiences. In response to the discipline’s animating questions “What is ‘America’?” and “What does it mean to be an American?” we analyze the formation of local, indigenous, borderland, and diasporic communities within the context of powerful assertions of national identity. The American Studies program is also distinct in our commitment to community-based learning and the public humanities, fostering critical analysis by engaging with local community partners in teaching, researching, and promoting active civic participation.

The interdisciplinary nature of our program encourages the kind of personal initiative and creative thinking that gives our majors an advantage later in life, and they pursue a rich variety of careers. After completing introductory requirements, students will work closely with an advisor to select a concentration for upper-level coursework. An American Studies major is particularly appropriate for students planning careers in teaching, law, communications, government, social work, journalism, museum studies, and information science.






Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Programs