American Studies

As a Minor

The minor in American Studies is a multidisciplinary program that investigates the content and meaning of American culture within the United States. It combines the insights and methods of all the disciplines in humanities and social studies to examine the United States from the standpoint of history, social and political institutions, literature, and the arts. It asks questions about:

  • The movements and myths of American history
  • American democracy in relation to other nations
  • Slavery shaping American history
  • Native Americans from the Pilgrims to today
  • American identity
  • Ideas, economics, passions, and politics in American foreign policy

Students select a minimum of two courses from one or more of the four categories of electives: Culture and Society; Myths and Identities in the American Context; The Poltical Sphere; and Urban Studies. Students select these courses from at least two different departments among the nine participating departments: Black and Latino Studies, Communication Studies, English, Fine and Performing Arts, History, Modern Languages, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.

In addition, all students take one capstone course in American Studies (AMS 4900). This course introduces students to the rationale and methodology of American Studies. Recent topics for capstone courses have included: Currents of Literature; The European Mind in America; Studying the Modern Civil Rights Movement; and Crossing Borders.

For more information check the current Student Bulletin.


Program Director:

Professor Michael Staub, 646-312-3944

Program Committee Members:

Ruth Adler - Modern Languages and Comparative Literature

Tuzyline Allan - English

Gerald DeMaio - Political Science

Elizabeth Gareis - Communication Studies

Thomas Heinrich - History

Gail Levin - Fine and Performing Arts



The City University of New York