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
Cold War Culture
Native American Studies
Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies
African American Studies
Literature of the Pacific World
Global Cultural Circuits
Latina/o Literature and History
History of Popular Music
Politics and Society
Art, Folk, Literature
Arab American Studies
The Practice of Public Culture
United States History
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 four 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.
All American Culture students have an opportunity to tailor the major based on their own intellectual and career interests. Students will take AMCULT 275: "Practices of American Culture"; AMCULT 498: "Senior Capstone in American Culture"; a set of flexible breadth requirements; and a combination of open electives based on their particular goals. With small seminars, excellent and committed faculty, and award-winning advising, American Culture offers students a challenging and rewarding sense of community within the larger College and University experience.