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  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities & Fine Arts

American Studies

Consider the very idea of what America means, and what it might be.

The American Studies major is designed for the unusually independent student who will take on the responsibility of helping to determine the structure of her major and who seeks the freedom to participate actively in the selection of her curriculum. American Studies explores U.S. culture and American national identity from cross-disciplinary perspectives in order to help students develop a rich understanding of the American experience. For instance, students might explore racial, ethnic, gender, LGBTQ, or class identities—all central themes in current American Studies—in many different fields: history courses on slavery or the Civil Rights Movement; literature courses on the Harlem Renaissance, Irish and Irish-American literature, Jewish-American literature, and European colonial through twenty-first century American literature; cultural studies courses on popular culture, gender, race, class, sexuality, and generation; music courses on jazz and American music; art courses on American painting, the history of U.S. photography, and U.S. museology; a summer-session archaeology field school conducting excavations on Maryland's Eastern Shore.




American Studies Seminar

Focused on the political, racial, and gender implications of the founding of American Studies, this course is required for senior majors, but also open to non-majors. 



Explore America

The Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience supports student research, hosts special events, sponsors internships, and funds undergraduate research, including Explore America internships and Frederick Douglass Fellowships. 

Starr Center


Leah Morris