Department of American Studies


Creative thinkers,
historians and Researchers

Understanding the United States and its role in the world


Who We Are

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

"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."

Talib Hudson
BA '04

Core Research Strengths



Learn About Our Research


Our Highlights


Department Headlines

Obituaries and Memoirs: James Arthur Miller (1944–2015)

Which roles have literature, music, art and film played in the struggle for equality and social justice, and what are the political roles they should be playing?...How can a specifically local focus...

Craig Allen receives 2015-16 Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities

We sat down to interview Craig Allen, a PhD candidate who has received the 2015-16 Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities. Each year, the Chateubriand Fellowship offers doctoral students the...



Faculty Books


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Ugly Freedoms

In Ugly Freedoms, Elisabeth R. Anker reckons with the complex legacy of freedom offered by liberal American democracy, outlining how the emphasis of individual liberty has always been entangled with...

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

Prizewinning historian Thomas A. Guglielmo draws together more than a decade of extensive research to tell sweeping yet personal stories of race and the military; of high command and ordinary GIs;...


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