Mission & Goals
To develop valuable critical skills and diverse perspectives in the study of American culture past and present. As a unique interdisciplinary field of study with a long intellectual tradition, American studies seeks to empower students with combinations of useful analytical tools for exploring the complexity and diversity of American culture.
Statement of Educational Goals
- Active, student-centered learning in discussion-based classes where students share significant responsibility for the day-to-day work of the class.
- Writing-, reading-, and speaking-intensive courses in a rigorous liberal arts tradition.
- Students conduct original research and engage primary source materials, learning and practicing stages of research, original production, and revision.
- Students explore and work analytically with texts, cultural and historical contexts, and relevant theoretical frameworks.
- Classes stretch and expand the definition of readable texts and traditional definitions of “America(n).” This includes an expanded understanding of the United States in multiple global contexts.
- Classes incorporate outside activities—field trips, speakers, film screenings, on-site research, and opportunities for practical applications of skills in the local community.
- Students are asked to encounter and employ more than one disciplinary perspective or methodology in their own original work.
- Instructors model multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to complex problems, topics, and questions.
- The program adds to the broader campus culture through its programmatic support and active collaboration with individuals and groups.
- The program strives to model for its students and for the College as a whole the inherent possibilities, meanings, and value of interdisciplinary education.
204 Pardee Hall