09/15/17- Statement from Department of American Studies faculty.
What is America? America is local. The scholars and students of the Department of American Studies study locality by engaging with historic and contemporary American Indian communities. America is regional. We consider the role of the diverse American South through our Southern Studies concentration. America is national. We explore the popular cultural forms that have drawn the country together and divided it, historically and currently. America is global. We nurture this approach through our Global American Studies program and our emphasis on Study Abroad opportunities for our majors and minors. America is a story. The folklorists in our department pursue the American narrative as expressed with the spoken word, art, performance, and other means. And American Studies is changing. Our leadership in Digital Humanities nurtures new styles of answering humanities questions. We explore the place, people, cultures, and experiences of America through a coordinated curriculum of American Studies, American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Folklore, Global American Studies, Southern Studies, and Digital American Studies.
Our commitment to interdisciplinary approaches empowers students to value the nation’s complexity by engaging with a variety of historical, literary, artistic, political, social and ethnic perspectives. American Studies graduates gain a comprehension of these dynamics of American culture that prepares them to make a responsible and critical difference in the variety of professions they choose to pursue.