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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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...

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MA student Harry Lewis moderates discussion of LGBT rights in America

On October 25, 2018, MA student Harry Lewis was invited to moderate a discussion with Dennis and Judy Shepard, parents of the late Matthew Shepard, at the Smithsonian National Museum of American...



Faculty Books


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Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance

Amber Jamilla Musser, associate professor of American Studies, reimagines black and brown sensuality to develop new modes of knowledge production. Sensual Excess works against the framing of black...

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

Melani McAlister, professor of American studies and international affairs, offers a daring new perspective on conservative Christianity by focusing on the world outside American borders. In a...


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