American Studies
Offered by the History department.

Students who choose to pursue this course of study will find that it offers new answers and ways of thinking about complex questions related to American society, cultures, and experiences. Students will engage with a wide variety of texts covering such topics related to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity as part of the ever evolving American experience – seeking to understand them critically and historically. Pursuing American Studies as a major means understanding the American experience through many interdisciplinary lenses — art, literature, history, culture, politics, and social movements — in order to grasp the full complexity of American culture and society.

As an interdepartmental major, American Studies has students taking courses from History, English, Religion, Art and Art History, Philosophy, and other related fields in order to gain the full breadth of knowledge available to them.

Major requirements

American Studies major worksheet

A major in American studies is offered jointly by the English and History departments. The major consists of 11.5 courses in HistoryEnglishReligionArt and Art HistoryPhilosophy and related fields.


At least four courses are required:
ENG 253 American Literature to 1865
ENG 255 Cultural Diversity in American Literature: From the Civil War to the 1940s

And two from the following:
ENG 256 The Novel in Multi-Ethnic America
ENG 260 American Voices in Lyric Combat
ENG 341 Public Poetry, Private Poetry
ENG 343 Fictions of the Modern
ENG 376 Literary and Cultural Theory
or any other course in American literature.


At least four courses are required:
HIST 331 Social and Intellectual History of the United States to the Civil War
HIST 332 Social and Intellectual History of the United States Since 1876

And two from the following:
HIST 201 North American Colonial History
HIST 202 America: The New Nation, 1776-1836
HIST 203 America: The Nation Divided, 1836-1876
HIST 204 Industry and Empire: The United States, 1876-1914
HIST 205 America Between the Wars: 1914-1945
HIST 206 Modern America: 1945 to the Present
HIST 209 African American History to 1877
HIST 210 African American History: 1877 to the Present
HIST 220 Latinos in the U.S.
HIST 232 Women in North America to 1790
HIST 233 United States Women, 1790-1890
HIST 234 United States Women since 1890
HIST 338 United States Labor History
or any other course in American history.

One additional course chosen from any of the above groups or from a related field is required. At least one related course from another discipline is required.


An appropriate seminar (depending upon the individual focus of the major) is required for seniors.
ENG 401 Senior Seminars
HIST 401 Senior Seminar

For more information, contact Alexander BloomSamuel Coale, coordinators.

John Bezis-Selfa

Associate Professor of History; Chair of the History Department

Alexander Bloom

Professor of History

Dolita Cathcart

Associate Professor of History

Shawn Christian

Associate Professor

Samuel Coale

Professor of English

Kathryn Tomasek

Professor of History