American Studies

Welcome to American Studies

The Interdisciplinary American Studies program takes as its subject the cultures that have developed in what is now the United States, understanding “American culture” as the interplay of material practices and the realm of ideas.

Director Andrew Shanken

It considers technology, economy, urbanism, and ecology, as well as literature, the arts, and political and geographic history. American Studies takes a particular interest in cultural hybridity, cultural layering, and in American culture exported abroad.

The goal of the Interdisciplinary American Studies program is to utilize the enormous and varied resources of the institution to teach students how to ask and answer scholarly questions, to formulate and undertake a focused interdisciplinary course of study, and to design and execute a substantial integrative research project. In doing this, we build upon several generations of scholars across disciplines who have advocated the critical study of race, class, gender, sexuality, and mass culture, as well as the examination of America as part of an increasingly globalized world.

Student Academic Advising

Laura Spautz, MPH

The Student Academic Advisor's job is to guide students and faculty as they navigate University, College, and Major Program policies. Laura is an experienced advisor who is available to serve as a sounding board for ideas and concerns as they arise. Office hours and contact information are located here.

Graduate Profiles

Alec Kassin - Policy, Politics, and Sport in the U.S.

Alec, the Departmental Citation recipient for 2016, graduated with Highest Honors after a longer-than-expected college career, marked by a high of spending a year studying abroad in France, and a low of taking a year off from Berkeley due to a back injury. In the summer after his graduation, he plans to work as a camp counselor for an American-style summer camp in Japan, helping Japanese youth learn English by participating in American sports. In October, he will begin work in LinkedIn’s Business Leadership Program, rotating through multiple sales units before taking on a full-time role in their Global Sales Organization. Though his long-term plans are unclear (they may consist of a return to academia to earn a Master’s in Public Policy, a run for political office, or both), Alecs ultimate goal is to have a career through which he can find fulfillment helping others. Right now, Alec is engrossed in learning about the causes, effects, and possible solutions to widening inequality in American society.

Thesis: Alec Kassin : - "Caught Stealing: The Major League Baseball Players Association A Union for the Few at the Expense of the Many" (Class of 2016)

GSI Jobs

Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Reader Positions listed here.

Donate

Donate to American Studies through the Give to Berkeley Website.

Faculty and Staff

Click here to see contact info and office hours for our contact Faculty, Staff and Directors

Administrative Office
Laura Spautz
265 Evans Hall
Disconnected - please contact us by email
amerstd@berkeley.edu
UGIS Office
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