Fall 2018 Courses

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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

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!


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.

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.

Gayle Wald

Professor Gayle Wald Interviewed on Fox8 Cleveland About Her Book, “Shout, Sister, Shout!”

American Studies Dept. Chair Gayle Wald was interviewed about her book "Shout, Sister, Shout!" ahead of Sister Rosetta Sharpe's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Absence of Hope

Thursday, April 19th: "The Absence of Hope: Underground Elements in 'Get Out'" by Jared Sexton

The Absence of Hope, presented by Jared Sexton, is the fourth and final lecture in the inaugural GW Arts & Humanities lecture series entitled #Resist! Envisioning Justice Together, generously supported by the Provost's and CCAS Dean's offices. Jared Sexton is associate professor of African American studies and film and media studies at the University of California, Irvine.