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About SLU's Department of American Studies

Whether you want to minor, major or seek the finest graduate-level training in American studies, you'll find our department to be a vibrant and dynamic community of teachers, scholars, mentors and peers.

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Founded in 1963, the Saint Louis University American Studies Department carries forward a long tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship. Our community is a freestanding, autonomous academic department with its own full-time faculty and carefully designed, developmental curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The American Studies Department provides a systematically interdisciplinary approach to the study of the cultures of the United States and to the critical analysis of their historical and contemporary evolutions. We train students in the skills of clear thinking, writing and speaking, as well as the abilities associated with interpreting literary texts, evaluating historical documents and artifacts, applying humanistic and social scientific methods and theoretical approaches, and reflecting ethically about the problems and issues raised in the classroom.

We are swiftly growing our number of students, faculty and academic opportunities. Participants in our doctoral program consistently win grants, prizes and other recognitions for their research while American studies undergraduate classroom enrollments have more than doubled over the past half decade. We continue to develop exciting new options in career mentorship, internships and other activities.

Department of American Studies Mission

The mission of the American Studies Department at Saint Louis University is to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study and analysis of the cultures of the United States and their development over time. It seeks to produce leading-edge scholarly and artistic publications, exhibitions, and performances from its faculty and students.

Our department trains students to apply humanities and social science methods to literary, historical, visual, digital, and material culture sources, while cultivating skills in critical thinking, clear writing, and persuasive speaking. Through internships and collaborations with a variety of community institutions, we encourage students to engage in the world around them and to reflect ethically on the problems and issues addressed in the classroom.