Being introduced to American Studies at Indiana University shaped the entire course of my academic career. As a freshman, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the Inside Out classroom experience. Dr. Micol Seigel facilitated a class composed of both IU students and incarcerated students at Heritage Trail Correctional Facility in Plainfield, Indiana. This class is what drew me into the department as a major and epitomizes what is best about American Studies: I was able to connect with people very different from myself as we came together to deeply engage with academic questions about the things that affect us on a day-to- day basis.
American studies teaches you that everything, from the food you eat for breakfast to the movies you watch after class, has something to say about the past, present, and future of our world. As a major, you utilize methods from a variety of disciplines to analyze media, material culture, and more and explore the facets of what it means to be an American. The department is an absolute treasure trove of great minds. I am beyond satisfied that I chose to study American Studies at IU and cannot imagine having done anything else. I learned lessons that I carry with me today, not only about what is going on in the world but why it is happening and what I can do to make a difference.