The work of American studies compels us to understand the intersections of past and present, the shaping forces of political, economic and social institutions, and the experience and power of individuals and groups in defining themselves and creating change. Because of the multi-vocal, multi-disciplinary nature of the field, courses essential to American studies are located across the curriculum. These include courses with US content in various disciplines, courses across the humanities and social sciences that teach methods important to American studies, and courses that foster cross-cultural thinking. Within American studies, students integrate an array of methods and materials in coursework that spans an historical arc from colonization to the present and includes topics ranging from the Federalist Papers to radical feminism in the ’70s to Disney World.

Students taking courses and tutorials in American studies can expect to cultivate the following skills: ability to approach problems and issues from a number of disciplinary perspectives; ability to find, use and critically interrogate a range of primary and secondary sources; ability to revise work as part of an intense and ongoing intellectual process; heightened awareness of how to live in and contribute to an increasingly diverse US society.

Areas of Interest for Plan-level Work:

  • 19th- & 20th-century US social & cultural history
  • History of gender and sexuality
  • Popular culture
  • History of mass media
  • Urban and suburban history
  • Material culture studies
  • Environmental history
  • Race and ethnicity
  • National identity and commemoration
  • Social Movements
  • Politics and culture
  • Oral History
  • Aging Studies


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)