American Studies

University of California, Berkeley


The interdisciplinary American Studies program takes as its subject the cultures that have developed in what is now the United States, understanding "American culture" as the interplay of material practices and the realm of ideas. It considers technology, economy, urbanism, and ecology, as well as literature, the arts, and political and geographic history. American Studies takes a particular interest in cultural hybridity, cultural layering, and American culture exported abroad.

The goal of the Interdisciplinary American Studies program is to utilize the enormous and varied resources of the institution to teach students how to ask and answer scholarly questions; to formulate and undertake a focused interdisciplinary course of study; and to design and execute a substantial integrative research project. In doing this, we build upon several generations of scholars across disciplines who have advocated the critical study of race, class, gender, sexuality, and mass culture, as well as the examination of America as part of an increasingly globalized world.

Undergraduate Program

American Studies: BA, Minor

Visit Program Website


American Studies

Contact Information

American Studies Program

265 Evans Hall

Visit Program Website

Program Director

Andy Shanken, PhD

Associate Program Director and Faculty Advisor

Christine Palmer, PhD

241 Evans Hall

Senate Lecturer and Faculty Advisor

Michael Cohen, PhD (Department of African American Studies)

Student Academic Advisor

Laura Spautz, MPH

265 Evans Hall

Lecturer and Faculty Advisor

Sarah Gold McBride, PhD

Lecturer and Faculty Advisor

Alex Craghead, PhD

Back to Top