A female student looking happy at a GW American Studies event. Graphic: Department of American Studies

 

CREATIVE thinkers,
historians and RESEARCHERS

Understanding the United States and its role in the world

 


Who We Are

 

2 GW American Studies students smiling in Dr. Nicole Ivy's class

 

The Department of American Studies at the George Washington University is committed to fostering a dynamic, interdisciplinary learning and research environment focused on understanding the culture, beliefs, policies, politics, urbanization and history of the United States and its role in the world.

Through a rigorous curriculum, we challenge our students to uncover fresh perspectives on how we live and engage with one another. Our long-standing ties with the Smithsonian Institution and other organizations within the nation’s capital further immerse students in unique experiences relating to historic preservation, museum curation, social politics and more. And our alumni have achieved success in a variety of fields, making their mark in virtually every sector of the economy.

 

 


Talib Hudson, BA '04

Talib Hudson

BA '04

"I found American Studies refreshing. It wasn’t a sugar-coating of American history. I felt that it gave a more honest depiction, that it really told the story of people on the ground."

 

Core Research Strengths

  • Cultural History and Cultural Studies
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
  • Urban Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Religion and Politics
  • Public Culture and Performance
  • Transnational American Studies

Learn About Our Research

 


Our Highlights

Department Headlines

Melani McAlister

Archival Project Tells GW’s COVID Story

American Studies’ Melani McAlister and a team of students are collecting interviews with the GW community to create a historical archive of pandemic experiences.

Kids at the International Bridge Ceremony

At the Border, A Washington’s Birthday Bash

Elaine Peña returned to her Texas home to investigate why two towns along the U.S.-Mexico border have held a Washington’s birthday party for more than 100 years.
Several GW faculty members shown during a virtual video call

GW Researchers Discuss ‘Democracy Under Siege’ in Wake of Capitol Riots

The Humanities Center hosted a panel featuring several American Studies professors to analyze how white supremacy, anti-blackness, anti-immigrant attitudes, anti-Semitism and truth distortion caused the “MAGA uprising.”

Faculty Books

  • Image of the cover of Tom Gugilelmo's book, A New History of Racism and Resistance in America's World War II Military

    Divisions: A New History of Racism and Resistance in America's World War II Military

  • Image of the cover of Elaine Peña's book, ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the US-Mexico Border

    ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the US-Mexico Border

  • Image of the cover of Dara Orenstein's book, Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism

    Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism

  • Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance book cover

    Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance

  • The Kingdom of God Has No Borders: A Global History of American Evangelicals

    The Kingdom of God Has No Borders: A Global History of American Evangelicals

  • Open Mind book cover

    The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature