• Home
  • Why Choose American Studies?

Why Choose American Studies?

What exactly is “America”? America as we’ve known it is changing. The nation is experiencing greater racial and ethnic diversity. Concerns about the environment, food and poverty, and sustainability are being addressed, and solutions sought. The public is demanding greater equality for all, regardless of sexual preference or socioeconomic status. American culture is becoming increasingly diverse and its population more transnational. What are the meanings and boundaries of American citizenship? Who is “American” and who determines this? Read More »

The Department of American Studies at KU engages you in these discussions to equip you with a broad understanding of history, society and culture so that you can intelligently participate in the complex issues of the present day. We offer you a major, minor or double major in American Studies, a minor in Latina/o Studies, and soon a minor in social justice. We’ll give you a sure footing in a diverse 21st century — one that demands critical skills in verbal and written communication and research, the ability to examine and understand varied perspectives, and multicultural and multinational awareness and understanding.

We interact with our community beyond the classroom, especially in areas of justice and civic engagement. For instance, one of our majors, Emma Halling, recently helped organize and lead the student demands for changes to KU’s sexual assault policy. Many current and former students and faculty members are involved in the local Just Foods, as well as the Sunrise Project and other activities to end hunger and provide affordable healthy foods to residents of Douglas County.

We don’t shy away from the hard questions. We engage in activities and difficult national conversations concerning ethnic and race relations, such as those in gun violence; workers’ rights and union labor; children and immigration; and even the decline in affordable housing for KU graduate students . Our alumni are employed in varied careers such as: book and magazine editing, journalism, social service work and administration, human resource management, sales and marketing, law, museums, public radio and other environments that are enriched by a liberal arts background.

Why choose American Studies? Because America is changing and you have an important part to play in our global future.

Jennifer Hamer, Professor


Announcements
  • This article, written by Geoffry Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffry!
  • Rachel Schwaller and Saoussen Cheddadi successfully defended their respective dissertations on October 29, 2018. Congratulations, Drs. Schwaller and Cheddadi!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • Dr. Gamze Kati Gumus defended her dissertation with honors on May 10, 2018. Congratulations, Dr. Kati Gumus!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Burrow-Branine for successfully defending his dissertation with honors January 25, 2018.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
Upcoming Events
Hall Center Humanities Lecture Series

A forum for interdisciplinary dialogue between renowned speakers, the university and the surrounding communities.
Schedule of Lectures

 

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
Follow us:

Giving

KU Today