Spring 2019 Courses

 Become an American Studies Major

About Us

The Department of American Studies at The George Washington University is one of the nation's most rigorous and intellectually innovative departments devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. Internationally recognized for its research, our faculty is also committed to fostering a dynamic learning environment where undergraduate and graduate students work together with faculty to better understand the culture, politics and history of the United States and its role in the world. 

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Department News and Events

Dr. Ransby

Monday, November 19: Dr. Barbara Ransby on the Black Feminist Roots of Black Lives Matter

Dr. Ransby will visit us at the Marvin Center, Room 302 on Monday, November 19 at 1:45 PM. In "Making All Black Lives Matter", award-winning historian and longtime activist Barbara Ransby outlines the scope and genealogy of this movement, documenting its roots in Black feminist politics and situating it squarely in a Black radical tradition, one that is anticapitalist, internationalist, and focused on some of the most marginalized members of the Black community. From the perspective of a participant-observer, Ransby maps the movement, profiles many of its lesser-known leaders, measures its impact, outlines its challenges, and looks toward its future.


Monday, November 5: The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism

From Hillary Clinton to Ivanka Trump, more and more high-powered women are unabashedly identifying as feminists. In this talk, Catherine Rottenberg, American Studies Professor at the University of Nottingham, discusses her recently published book, offering insight into why we are witnessing this new phenomenon in which feminism has suddenly become a source of pride and cultural capital for high-profile women.

1968 Initiative 10/19

Friday, October 19: 1968 Initiative: Sports, Protest and the Mexico City Olympic Games

The Department of American Studies would like to thank Dave Zirin--political sportswriter, sports editor for The Nation, and host of the Edge of Sports podcast--who discussed the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games with a packed room of the GW community.

June Millington

Monday, November 5: June Millington of Fanny Visit

June Millington, pioneering rockstar and co-founder of Fanny, will speak with Prof. Gayle Wald on Monday, November 5 from 12:45 PM to 2:00 PM in the Marvin Center, Room 309. All are welcome.

Black and her new book

PhD Alum Megan Black's The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power Published

Megan Black, a PhD alum of the Department of American Studies, released in October her new book detailing the significance of the U.S. Department of the Interior in the 20th and 21st centuries. Read more here!

The Kingdom of God Has No Borders with author Melani McAlister

Thursday, October 18: Melani McAlister Book Launch of The Kingdom of God Has No Borders

Part of the Elliott School Book Launch Series, this event will take place at the Elliott School building located at 1957 E St NW in Room 505 from 1:00-2:30 PM on Thursday, October 18. Please RSVP as soon as possible by clicking on this event and following the RSVP link. We hope to see you there!

Musser and her new book

Friday, October 12: Amber Musser's Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Black Jouissance Published

Prof. Amber Musser's newest book, Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Black Jouissance, has been released!

Dee Dee Sharp (left) and Gayle Wald (right)

Monday, October 1st: Dee Dee Sharp

The Department of American Studies on October 1 welcomed Dee Dee Sharp to GW, where she spoke to a room packed with members of the GW community. Dee Dee Sharp, with her hit single "Mashed Potato Time", was America's first black female teen idol and is an inspiration to many. Prof. Gayle Wald moderated the discussion in which Dee Dee reflected on her career and life.

Elizabeth Rule

Mon. Apr 3| Rebuilding the Tribal/First Nation: Mohawk Girls and the Indian Act

Elizabeth Rule is is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation and came to the George Washington University in 2017 as the Assistant Director of the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy and as a faculty member in the College of Professional Studies. She is a current Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellow and a Ph.D. Candidate in Brown University’s American Studies Department.