American Studies is an interdisciplinary investigation of history, literature,politics, and culture in the United States and larger Americas in anincreasingly complex, interconnected world. American Studies is a form of critical citizenship. Students are encouraged to draw from a range of disciplines in their efforts to analyze and interpret America’s past and present.
We believe that the study of the United States must be pushed into a hemispheric context and global context, positioning the U.S. against as well as exploring its links to Asia; Canada and Latin America; the Caribbean; and Europe.
We weigh the significance of empire in "our" history. We ask students to ponder the significance of diaspora, migration, and globalization, or the cross-border flows of people, information, and commodities, for national cultures and nationalism. We develop interdisciplinary methodologies that encourage a careful, critical reflection on the meaning of the terms "United States," "America," and "American."
American Studies no longer borrows exclusively from English and history, but also incorporates approaches and ideas from, for instance, anthropology; religion; critical theory and philosophy; folklore; ethnomusicology; visual studies and art history; gender; ethnic and race studies; film and media studies; and the study of other languages and literatures, thus forging fresh and creative syntheses. We seek to prepare students to become literate, critical, and creative thinkers; effective writers; and responsible citizens in an increasingly complex world.
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