Why Study American Culture?
To gain a broad perspective and deep understanding of the complexities of American society, to develop critical thinking skills, and to interpret and apply this knowledge in many career fields, investigating such topics of interest as:
|New Media Culture||Literature of the Pacific World|
|Cold War Culture||Global Cultural Circuits|
|Ethnic Studies||Latina/o Literature and History|
|Sexuality||History of Popular Music|
|Native American Studies||Politics and Society|
|Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies||Art, Folk, Literature|
|International Migration||Arab American Studies|
|Jazz||The Practice of Public Culture|
|Gender||United States History|
|African American Studies||Multiracial Crossing and Relations|
And the list just keeps going!
The Department of American Culture offers undergraduate students at the University of Michigan a wide range of courses that engage the rich cultural and social facets of the United States, both as the U.S. lives in the global world, and as the global world lives within the U.S. One of the top American studies departments in the world, Michigan's Department of American Culture finds its uniqueness and strength in a dialogue among its three ethnic studies programs, and with the interdisciplinary concerns of the field of American studies.
Our courses integrate a full array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields: not only historical and literary study, but also visual studies, musicology, film and media, gender and sexuality studies, among others. The American Culture curriculum emphasizes the diversity of American society, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, economic and other forms of social difference and inequity. At the same time, it emphasizes the importance of studying U.S. citizenship and national belonging, including Americans' (sometimes conflicting) ideals, as well as the range of different experiences of what it has meant — and continues to mean — to be American. Our courses explore these issues in both historical and contemporary settings.
Based on a five-course core, a flexible "breadth requirement" and a set of open electives, the major in American Culture lets students chart their own course through the curriculum's intellectual diversity, while gaining a critical set of skills and competencies in cultural analysis and context. A popular second major for those electing to double major, American Culture aims to foster a friendly community of interest, in which concentrators share the opportunity for intensive study, conversation, and research about American society and culture. With small courses, excellent and committed faculty, and award-winning advising, American Culture offers students a challenging and rewarding interdisciplinary "village" within the larger College and University experience.