• Melissa Andrade

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    Melissa Andrade ’14, a double major in American studies and cultural and historic preservation, spent the summer of 2013 interning with the Newport Historical Society, a local nonprofit focused on preserving the city’s history, culture and buildings.

American Studies

The American studies program is an interdisciplinary major in which students draw upon multiple fields of study to critically analyze the meaning and influence of U.S. history and culture.

Our program focuses on the question of national identity: What characteristics, traditions, ideas and values shape the American people and their institutions? Students explore American culture through the lens of diverse academic fields, such as art, economics, film, history, literature, music, philosophy, politics, religion and sociology, in order to examine the nation’s intellectual and social foundations.

Our majors are characterized by their ability to think critically, make intellectual connections and communicate effectively. The broad and rigorous education our students receive prepares them for graduate school and careers in a wide variety of fields, including business, education, government, journalism, law and the nonprofit sector.

Majors and Minors

Course Spotlight

The Great American Road Trip
American Studies Program

Combining historical inquiry and media studies, this team-taught course explores how the iconic American road trip developed over the course of the 20th century. Discussion-based, seminar-style class meetings invite students to consider the intersection of cross-country travel with American culture, politics, landscapes and lifestyles. Using primary source documents such as vintage maps, travel guides, advertising, film and literature, students explore how the road...