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

Craig Lanier Allen receives 2015-16 Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities

Craig Lanier Allen has won the 2015-2016 Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities. Each year, the Chateubriand Fellowship offers doctoral students the opportunity to conduct subsidized research in...

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Biden appoints University Professor Vanessa Northington Gamble to the National Council on the Humanities

Vanessa Northington Gamble,  University Professor of Medical Humanities and Professor of American Studies, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the National Council on the Humanities ...



Faculty Books


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

For 120 years, residents of the cross-border community of Laredo/Nuevo Laredo have celebrated George Washington's birthday together, and Associate Professor of American Studies Elaine Pena's account...

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Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism

Associate Professor of American Studies Dara Orenstein delivers an ambitious and engrossing account of that most generic and underappreciated site in American commerce and industry: the warehouse....


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