Undergraduate Concentration in American Studies

What is American Studies?

American Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that is innovative and creative, offering new answers to complex questions about American society, cultures, and experiences. 

Exciting new directions build on our interests in  gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity. Publicly-engaged scholarship in local and global contexts and the digital humanities play increasingly important roles in the production and dissemination knowledge by American Studies faculty and students.  Students learn to analyze social structures and practices of identity, space and place, and the production and consumption of culture.

American Studies concentrators take foundational courses within the department and often use courses around the University to round out their interdisciplinary look at the United States.  American Studies maintains strong ties to programs in Africana Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Urban Studies and, most recently, the Masters program in Public Humanities.

The specific skills that concentrators will use and develop in order to achieve these intellectual goals articulated by these themes and approaches are:

  • Reading texts, objects and spaces critically and historically
  • Producing scholarship and creative work in different forms ranging from the traditional research paper to exhibitions to new media
    Participating in forms of publicly publicly-engaged scholarship

Creating an ePortfolio that serves as part of the capstone experience


What we do in American Studies

American Studies at Brown is concerned with four broad themes:

Social Structures and the Practices of Identity
Space and Place
Production and Consumption of Culture
Science, Technology, and Everyday Life

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

Cultural and Social Analysis
Global/International Contextulization
New Media Understandings
Publicly Engaged Scholarship

To learn more about the AMST Themes and Approaches, click here.