American Studies

Sponsored by the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges, American studies is an interdisciplinary major that encourages students to think critically and creatively about culture in the United States. The American Studies Program is coordinated by an intercollegiate faculty whose aim is to introduce students to the complexity of the American experience. Majors take courses in a variety of disciplines such as literature, history, sociology, anthropology, political science, music, media studies, and the visual arts. In addition, majors take multidisciplinary courses that use materials from different disciplines to explore particular issues in American life. The interdisciplinary approach to this major affords the student many career choices, some following graduate study, including law, library science, journalism, business, and museum work.

Edward A. White Award

The Edward A. White Award in American Studies is given annually to a senior who has done outstanding work in the study of the United States and its history, culture, or politics as evidenced in her senior thesis. To see a list of past winners and their thesis topics, click here.

Scripps Faculty

Julia E. Liss
Professor of History

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Warren Liu
Assistant Professor of English

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Rita Roberts
Professor of History and Africana Studies

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Intercollegiate Faculty

Anthes, Bill Associate Professor of Art History, Pitzer College
Barron, Hal Professor of History, Harvey Mudd College
Dyson, Erika Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Harvey Mudd College
Frykman, Niklas Assistant Professor, Claremont McKenna College
Geismer, Lily Assistant Professor, Claremont McKenna College
Gravendyk, Hillary Assistant Professor of English, Pomona College
Groves, Jeff Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dean of Faculty; Professor of Literature, Harvey Mudd College
Selig, Diana Associate Professor, Claremont McKenna College
Silverman, Victor Professor of History, Pomona College
Strauss, Claudia Professor of Anthropology, Pitzer College
Thomas, Valorie Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies, Pomona College

Department Goals and Objectives

  1. Students gain knowledge of the histories and cultures of the United States.
  2. Students gain an understanding of a wide range of methods across the disciplines.
  3. Students learn how to analyze a wide range of evidence (e.g., written texts, films, paintings, musical compositions, etc.).
  4. Students learn how to carry on research in American Studies effectively.
  5. Students learn how to communicate effectively about the histories and cultures of the United States in both written and oral forms.
  6. Students attain the skills and knowledge necessary for graduate study or a career in American Studies or a related field.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • SLO1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the United States history and cultures.
  • SLO2: Students show comprehension of various methodologies across disciplines.
  • SLO3: Students are able to analyze evidence.
  • SLO4: Students will conduct a research project in American Studies effectively.
  • SLO5: Students will be able to communicate effectively in written form.
  • SLO6: Students will be able to communicate effectively in oral form.