The faculty and students who make up the Department of American Studies combine interests drawn from a variety of perspectives and methods of inquiry: history, folklife, cultural studies, literary analysis, and political theory, as well as the study of art, architecture, performance, and visual culture. Students at all levels develop individualized, interdisciplinary programs of study in consultation with faculty advisors.


Meet the Chair

Gayle Wald studies U.S.--and especially African American--culture, spanning literature, film and television, and popular music. She is the author of three books, including Shout, Sister, Shout! (Beacon 2007), a biography of the trailblazing gospel superstar Rosetta Tharpe, and It's Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power TV (Duke UP 2015), about publicly-funded TV showcase of Black Power-era arts, music, and politics.