American studies examines the history and cultures of the United States. American studies at Wesleyan stresses both an interdisciplinary and a comparative approach to the study of the United States, allowing majors to develop a rich understanding of the complex histories that have resulted from the conflict and confluence of European, Indigenous, African, and Asian cultures throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Pacific.

With the ability to think across disciplines and borders, students who major in American studies often pursue careers in education, communications, government, and journalism, among many other fields.

What You'll Study

  • As an American studies major you'll have the opportunity to study colonization, slavery, immigration, imperialism, capitalism, mass culture, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, political culture, the importance of modern social and political identities, state development, and other cultural phenomena across national boundaries, drawing on a variety of disciplines.

  • Individually designed four-course concentrations—including queer studies, race and ethnicity, cultural studies, material culture, visual culture, historical studies, and literary studies—will allow you to forge interdisciplinary approaches to a particular area of interest.

  • The course Colonialism and Its Consequences in the Americas and one junior colloquium are required of every major. To ensure chronological breadth, majors must also include at least one course that focuses on American culture(s) in the period before 1900. A capstone experience is required.