Director: Professor Lori Marso (Political Science)
Faculty: Professors B. Lewis, Stephen Schmidt (Economics), J. Murphy, J. Smith (English), A. Feffer (History), W. Garcia (Modern Language and Literature), J. Matsue, T. Olsen (Music), C. Brown, Z. Oxley (Political Science), D. Cotter, M. Goldner (Sociology); Associate Professors R. Samet (Anthropology), K. Lynes, J. Troxell, B. Tuon (English), K. Aslakson, A. Foroughi, A. Morris (History), B. Hays (Political Science), D. Butler, T. Stablein (Sociology), L. Cox (Visual Arts); Senior Lecturer: T. Lobe (Political Science)
American Studies is an interdisciplinary field of concentration in the liberal arts relating to the United States as a geographical area and a cultural and political space. Drawing on courses from fourteen departments, students learn to move among and connect history, art, politics, religion, popular culture, literature and other features of American life. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse character of the American experience, shaped by gender, race, class, sexuality, geography and ethnicity, and to situate that experience in a context of global economic, cultural and political relationships. Students are asked, however, to develop a coherent approach to the study of American culture, politics and society, past and present. To accomplish these tasks, students in the American Studies program collaborate closely with an academic advisor to work out a thematic core around which to build a unique and innovative course of study that knits together the methods and perspectives of several disciplines. Themes may be centered on a specific era (e.g., antebellum America or the United States since the Cold War) or a topic (e.g., the emergence of mass culture or ethnicity and race in American life).
The American Studies program offers an individualized program of study that allows each student to tailor his or her course work to personal interests and needs. There is no one way to complete the major or minor. A student is urged to meet with the Program Director as soon as he or she becomes interested in the program, preferably by the end of the sophomore year. Course planning forms can be found at the American Studies website.
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