The Department of American Studies

The Department of American Studies at The George Washington University is one of the nation's most rigorous and intellectually innovative departments devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. Internationally recognized for its research, our faculty is also committed to fostering a dynamic learning environment where undergraduate and graduate students work together with faculty to better understand the culture, politics and history of the United States and its role in the world.

Our prize-winning PhD and MA students are engaged in creative and exciting research, centered around the department's core strengths in cultural history and cultural studies (including literary, media, popular culture, performance, folklore, and visual studies); race, ethnicity and immigration; urban studies; gender and sexuality; religion and politics; public culture and public history; and transnational American studies. Our MA program provides students with additional opportunities for specialized, pre-professional training in historic preservation, folklife, and museums and material culture, drawing on the department's longstanding ties with the Smithsonian Institution, the Department of the Interior's National Register, and other DC cultural resource management organizations. 

The department's undergraduate major and minor attract an outstanding group of energetic, intellectually curious students who share the faculty's commitment to thinking critically about American spaces and places, cultural politics, and global connections. Recent graduates have achieved success in a variety of fields, including education, media, law, public service, museum work, the arts, historic preservation, and urban planning.

Top: Ashley Brown discusses her work at the launch of the Horton-Vlach Fund for American Studies (credit: Abby Greenawalt). Bottom: Students and faculty attend the play Detroit.