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American Studies

Washington, DC, is the perfect place to explore American Studies. Our program is committed to social justice, activism, research and community learning. Our faculty are experts in the study of popular culture and discourse, and their impact on society. Our students work to understand American institutions and culture through the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class issues.

Undergraduate Programs

Completing an American Studies degree prepares you to enter a range of graduate and professional programs, including law school, doctoral programs, and others. The skills acquired in the program are also useful for work in non-profit organizations, activist groups, media, government, and cultural and artistic fields, to name a few. Our programs explore socio-historical contexts and cultural perspectives that complement other fields of study at AU. 100% of our students have secured full-time employment or graduate school acceptance upon completing the requirements for the American Studies program.

American Studies in Washington, DC

American University student performers on stage

The American Studies program draws on the resources of its extraordinary location in Washington, DC. With spectacles of nationalism at every turn, the city exemplifies a spirit and tradition of American exceptionalism. At the same time, the presence of foreign embassies and vibrant transnational communities evokes themes of migration, mixture, and cultural hybridity. Living and learning in a global city, students in the program explore the diverse forms in which national and transnational identities are presented in the culturally and socially dynamic settings that surround the university. Faculty take students on study-tours of Washington, D.C. and adjacent sites, and in many American Studies course, students become actively involved in community service organizations, recognizing that the nation's capital is also a city marked by poverty, inequality, and stratification along lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

The Humanities Lab

Showcasing the humanities at American University by supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and scholarly activities among faculty, students, and the broader community.

Lab Home

Donald Earl Collins

Achievements ·

Opening Eyes to Racism, African American Identity, and American Narcissism

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Statement in Solidarity with Anti-Racist Efforts from CRGC

The faculty of the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies join with protesters across the world to denounce police brutality and systemic anti-Black violence. 

Read the full statement