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American Culture

Celebrating 80 Years of American Culture

As one of the oldest programs in American studies in the country, we have educated generations of Wolverines about the changing meanings of U.S. citizenship and national belonging.

American Culture started with a small, but dedicated, coalition of faculty and students who volunteered their time and intellectual talents. They eschewed traditional academic disciplinary boundaries for new scholarly conversations about what it has meant to be "American." Over the years, we have grown and matured into an unmatched center for understanding the nation’s ever increasing diversity and global connections. Today, we are the top American studies department in the world. Our students and faculty are uniquely committed to social justice and the highest standards of scholarship. We are proud, too, to be home to ethnic studies programs at Michigan: Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, Arab and Muslim American Studies, Latina|o Studies, and Native American Studies. 80th Anniversary Website

University Origins

The Department of American Culture acknowledges the university’s origins in a land grant from the Anishinaabeg (including Odawa, Ojibwe, and Boodewadomi) and Wyandot, and we further acknowledge that our university stands, like almost all property in the United States, on lands obtained, generally in unconscionable ways, from indigenous peoples. Knowing where we are changes neither the past nor the present. However, through scholarship and pedagogy we work to create a future in which the past is thoroughly understood and the present supports human flourishing and justice while enacting an ethic of care and compassion.