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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Monday, November 19: Dr. Barbara Ransby on the Black Feminist Roots of Black Lives Matter

Dr. Ransby is editor in chief of Souls: a critical journal of Black politics, culture and society, and serves on the editorial working group of the London-based journal, Race and Class, and the...

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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...



Faculty Books


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Citizenship and the Origins of Women’s History in the United States

Associate Professor of American Studies Teresa Anne Murphy outlines the development of women's history from the late eighteenth century to the time of the Civil War.

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Performing Piety: Making Space Sacred With the Virgin of Guadalupe

Associate Professor of American Studies Elaine Peña's study examines three spaces considered sacred to the Virgin of Guadalupe—at Tepeyac in Mexico City, at its replica in Des Plaines, Illinois, and...


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