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

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At the Border, A Washington’s Birthday Bash

American Studies’ 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.

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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...



Faculty Books


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

Jamie Cohen-Cole, associate professor of American Studies, chronicles the development of a rational, creative and autonomous self and demonstrates how the self became a defining feature of Cold War...

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It's Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television

Gayle Wald, professor of English and American Studies, examines the first African American black variety television program, "Soul!," which was influential in expressing the diversity of black...


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