American Studies, BA

This interdisciplinary major introduces students to a number of perspectives from which to study American social and cultural life.  The work we do begins from the premises that “America” itself has been a contested term for centuries, and that the people who call themselves “American” have consistently been engaged in conversations over and around the meaning of that term.  Our courses offer investigations of America’s past and present in a global context through critical analysis of the ways that race, class, gender and sexuality help constitute American institutions and people.

From our introductory courses (“American Identities” and “American Dreams, American Realities”) through a variety of intensive capstone seminars students develop the ability to understand the texts and contexts, and the representations and realities that have most powerfully shaped the political and aesthetic landscape of the United States.  

Our courses are challenging, our classrooms lively, and our students capable of analyzing an impressive array of key American documents, cultural formations, and social developments.