Examining notions of the Americas

In American Studies, we draw on many disciplines to advance the investigation of the Americas. We consider American history, politics, and cultures from an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective.

Our American Studies students are proponents of active citizen engagement, supported by in-depth research and reflection on the forces that contribute to national identity. They are agile thinkers who make connections across fields of inquiry. Our faculty encourage freedom of thought and are committed to examining the ways in which we all participate in building and understanding the Americas.

Our discipline emerged from both English and history. Now it incorporates people, ideas, and methods from across the humanities and social sciences, maintaining a comprehensive strength across many specializations. We practice and endorse a form of critical citizenship, conducting vital and engaging research.

Mapping American studies

American studies scholars place the United States in a hemispheric context, exploring its links to Central and South America, Canada, and the Caribbean, and weighing the significance of empire in our shared history. We study race and ethnicity, and ponder how diaspora, migration, and globalization affect conceptualizations of national cultures and articulations of nationalism.

And as we trace and analyze cross-border flows of people, information, and commodities, we develop interdisciplinary methodologies that encourage careful, critical reflection on the meaning of the terms “America” and “American.”

Grace Branham, B.A. ’18, American Studies

Choosing American Studies shaped Grace’s academic career. Between fascinating classes and experiences in the field, American Studies provided her with the knowledge and skills to pursue her passions.

Read more about Grace