About The Department of American Studies
American Studies at the University of Kansas offers an interdisciplinary department in which faculty and students think critically about the many institutional and cultural meanings of America, popular culture, society and identity. Through studying topics such as film, jazz, literature, visual culture, gender, race and religion, American Studies investigates America in the present and the past, beyond both disciplinary and national boundaries. Given our recognition of the critical impact of difference and power in American life, we insist that a student's program of study consider the profound impact of diversity on society and address differential power structures in American life and social relations. Motivated advanced students have the opportunity to work independently on research and service projects.
Within broadly defined subject areas and working closely with faculty mentors, students develop an area of concentration—a period or problem—and draw on appropriate university and academic resources to develop an integrated program of study. Students must demonstrate coherence in their course plans and show the relationships between their specialty areas and broader elements of American society and culture.
Department policy is determined by the American Studies Steering Committee, composed of active faculty and student representatives. Student representatives participate as full voting members and play an instrumental role in formulating policy.