American Studies (available to Class of 2013 and beyond)

The concentration in American Studies offers its students an array of analytical tools, knowledge and experiences to understand American society and cultures as products of historical, cultural and contemporary processes that are local, national and global. American Studies at Brown is predicated on the ideal of a scholarly engagement with the public that enables its graduates to, as Brown’s 1764 University Charter demands, "discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation." Drawing deeply from the traditions of the liberal arts, an American Studies concentration introduces students to a range of methods and a variety of evidence, while helping them frame a coherent understanding of the American experience.

A concentrator in American Studies will be able to:

Concentrators have gone on to a vast variety of careers, including law, public humanities, politics, public service, academics, business, creative arts, and medicine.

Each concentrator will take 10 courses including a Junior Seminar as one of four seminars. Courses are organized by the four themes and four approaches that define America Studies at Brown. Each concentrator will use this framework to create an individual focus in consultation with the Concentration Advisor.

The focus is the flexible core of the concentration. Here each student builds a coherent and dynamic interdisciplinary structure of related courses that develops his or her compelling interest in some aspect of American experience. The four themes and four approaches provide the foundation on which each student builds a unique concentration in American Studies.

All seniors in the class of 2013 forward will be required to do a capstone electronic portfolio.

Some concentrators may elect to do an Honors Thesis.

Study abroad is supported and encouraged.

Four Themes and Four Approaches

American Studies at Brown is concerned with four broad themes:

How we study

American Studies at Brown emphasizes four intersecting approaches that are critical tools for understanding these themes:

Page last reviewed in October, 2010.

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