American Studies is an interdisciplinary program offering a PhD, two Master’s tracks (General and Public Humanities), and an undergraduate minor. Social justice is at the core of our program. We believe that interdisciplinary training in American Studies provides a critical foundation to understanding our world and changing it.
We believe that the humanities must speak to diverse experiences and communities, and that this work can only be done successfully with a diverse faculty and student body. Understanding that diversity and inclusion are two of the most pressing issues facing cultural and educational institutions, we are committed to recruiting and mentoring students from underrepresented communities. Our program is committed to training a generation of leaders in the humanities who are representative of the diverse identities and communities they serve.
How You Will Learn
By studying the past with an eye to the present, our students develop the knowledge and skills to analyze the politics, history and culture of the Americas and engage with diverse audiences. Our students produce work that reaches beyond academic audiences and contributes to the pressing conversations of how to achieve justice in our time. In recent years, students have co-created an exhibit on the local history of police accountability campaigns and conducted oral history interviews for the Queer Newark Oral History Project. Our alumni are leaders in academia, politics, cultural institutions, and nonprofits across the country.
Our courses embrace interdisciplinary methods and draw on fields ranging from English to sociology to history. Through examining race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class, students gain a critical perspective on history and culture within and beyond the United States.
Our award-winning faculty, from departments across the humanities and social sciences, are actively engaged in research, writing, and community-based public projects. All our students, whether they are preparing for careers in the academy or the public sector, are asked to consider the diverse publics that their scholarship can serve and the many forms in which the fruits of their research can be shared.
Noelle Williams, American Studies MA student
American Studies scholar and MA student, Noelle L. Williams on the Legacy of Frederick Douglass and Abolition in Newark, NJ.