The American Studies Program at Kennesaw State University dedicates itself to crossing boundaries: disciplinary, social, cultural, and institutional. The program is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, focusing on the study of American cultures as they exist locally, regionally, nationally, and transnationally. With grounding in the content knowledge and methodologies from a range of fields, students are actively encouraged to pursue an understanding and critical analysis of the history, literature, arts, politics, language, philosophy, and social practices of the multitude of American communities.
What is American Studies?
American Studies is an interdisciplinary field which concentrates on the study of the Americas, with historical emphasis upon the United States. The goal is to analyze the social, historical, material, ideological, and aesthetic aspects of American culture, both past and present. American Studies traditionally incorporates knowledge from the fields of history, literature, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, and the fine arts among others.
Fields studying specific American communities such as African-American Studies, Chicano Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian-American Studies, and American Indian Studies are considered to be both included in and independent of the broader discipline. At Kennesaw State University, the American Studies Program is part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department (ISD) which includes all of these fields and more. ISD is home to seven programs: American Studies, Latin American Studies, African-American and African Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Peace Studies, Religious Studies. Faculty from each of these fields teach in the American Studies program, mentor students, and advise capstone projects for students enrolled in the MA Program in American Studies.
The American Studies Program at KSU is a member of the American Studies Association (ASA) and the Southern American Studies Association (SASA).
Careers in American Studies
Students who graduate with a degree in American Studies have a knowledge of America’s history, an understanding of its politics, an insight into its literature, and familiarity about its culture and foreign policy, all of which could be attractive to potential employers looking for someone who can demonstrate flexibility of thought. Other key skills include critical evaluation, excellent communication and organization, clear and logical thinking, and cultural awareness.
Students who enroll in American studies courses develop key research and analytical skills as they begin to view the United States and the Americas within larger world systems, taking into account how American cultures have been continually reshaped by the movement of people, commerce, and ideas. This coursework leads students to work in a variety of sectors and popular career choices include teaching, journalism, publishing, law, broadcasting, and librarianship. Graduates with experience in American Studies have an in-depth knowledge of many aspects of American history, literature, politics, and culture, making them attractive to multinational companies who operate in or have extensive business relationships with the United States.