Guide for New Students

Director: Professor Melinda Russell

Founded in the 1950s, the American Studies Program is one of the pioneers of interdisciplinary studies at Carleton. The program’s courses, taught by faculty in Arts and Literature, Humanities, and the Social Sciences, examine the cultural, social, and political life of America in the past and present. Rather than focusing specifically on history, politics, or art, the program challenges students to think broadly about the shaping of American society and to learn to synthesize knowledge from multiple disciplines.

Topics explored: identity, place and space, immigration, regionalism, popular culture, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, social and political movements, class and status, arts and aesthetics, imperialism, and many others.

How to get started: AMST 115, a team-taught interdisciplinary course, serves as the introductory course in this field. Two topics for AMST 115, “Placing Identities” and “The Immigrant Experience,” are offered each year. In addition, students interested in American Studies may take 100-level courses in History, English, Political Science, Religion, Art History, and Music, if those courses focus on American topics. Please consult the link to Courses for information about the introductory courses in other departments that count towards the American Studies major.