Every national culture has characteristic patterns of diversity and homogeneity, stability and change, continuity and conflict. American Studies is the organized pursuit of knowledge about the national culture of the United States to gain a comprehensive understanding of the American people—their ideals and values as well as their patterns of behavior. American Studies is broadly interdisciplinary and based upon insights and methodologies of such liberal arts as literature, history, the arts, anthropology, geography, and religious studies. Receptive to new perspectives and methods of inquiry that challenge older explanations, American Studies is inclusive and synthetic. American Studies students acquire knowledge of American institutional structures, collective and group behaviors, creative expressions, demographic compositions, transnational and regional identities, and characteristic attitudes and values.
The Department of American Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and a minor in American Studies. American Studies is the organized, interdisciplinary pursuit of knowledge about the national culture of the United States. Students can gain a comprehensive understanding of the American people's ideals, values, and patterns of behavior, and how these change over time.
Selected American topics for lower-division undergraduate students offered by American studies faculty members or supervised teaching assistants. Some examples include the following five-week, one-hour courses: African-American Star Athletes, Superbowl Ads, Stand Up Comedy, Disney's America, and Why Eat Local?.
Selected American topics for lower-division undergraduates offered by American Studies faculty members or supervised teaching assistants.