American Studies

Diverse People | Diverse Methods | Diverse Opportunities

American studies is the cultural study of the United States (and the territory that would become the U.S. and the settings that show the influence of U.S. culture) using many academic disciplines. We use all these fields of study because, after all, life itself is interdisciplinary. At any one time, we are living out the historical, literary, psychological, economic, political, religious and scientific influences all around us. A more informal expression of our method is that in American studies, we use many perspectives to try to understand what makes America tick.

In a sense, you are already a student of American studies. You are involved in the process of culture watching whether you live in or have visited the U.S., whether you feel the influence of its culture, whenever you shop, vote, travel or read. The academic program in American studies lets you bring that informal viewing to another level, by:

  • providing more information
  • establishing contexts around your impressions, and
  • building up your ability to evaluate your experiences critically