About Us

Hirano Family

One of the top American Studies departments in the world, the University of Michigan Department of American Culture offers Michigan students a chance to explore a range of topics from American history and literature to ethnic studies and pop culture. Flexible, engaging, and interdisciplinary, American Culture offers undergraduates and graduate students alike an opportunity to participate in a unique program and learn from some of the nation's top faculty in a personal, vibrant academic community. 

The Department offers students a quick thinking, fast moving, culturally sophisticated, multi-world education. We emphasize a new brand of ethnic studies, one rooted in global migration and movement, transnational identities, and unexpected juxtapositions. We put those insights into play with the world of cultural production and consumption: new media, music, technology, film. And we underpin the whole thing with an appreciation for the history, literature, and art that has been and continues to be produced from American centers and margins. We support excellent and committed teaching and advising and offer generally small classes, providing an optimal environment for learning from our talented faculty.

American Culture is home to Digital Studies as well as four of the University's ethnic studies programs: Arab and Muslim American Studies, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Native American Studies. Each of these constituent programs serves communities of affiliation and interest through academic minors, a range of community and service-learning courses, and internships. At the leading edge of a new American Studies, our programs move easily across traditional boundaries, and frequently connect with our partners in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Here, you will find faculty members considering African/Native American histories, the mix of boundary setting and crossing characteristic of national borders, the meanings of imperialism and global capitalism, indigenous worlds spanning the globe, moving "island cultures" in the Caribbean and Pacific, the intertwined literary production of contemporaries in Latina/o, Native American, and African American contexts and much, much more...