Apr 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Hill Book (Class of 2027) 
2023-2024 Hill Book (Class of 2027)

American Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Program Director:

Andrea Opitz
Office: Cushing Martin 127
Phone: 508-565-1305

Steering Committee:
L. Brekke-Aloise, History
M. Pierce, Education
A. Opitz, English
L. Scales, English

American Studies is a broad interdisciplinary major in which students explore the diverse people, places and cultural artifacts of the United States. As American Studies majors, students examine American culture and society using approaches and methods from several disciplines. American Studies majors typically take courses in History, English, Sociology, Communications, Political Science, Economics, Visual Arts, and Religious Studies among others. True to the Liberal Arts tradition, students can draw upon the strengths of faculty in several departments. Faculty members work with students individually, helping them to create a program of study according to their interests and goals. A major in American Studies is sometimes paired as a double major with History, Education, Political Science, Fine Arts or Communication. Graduates from this program have entered careers in museums, law, public administration, teaching, marketing and journalism. The American Studies Program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Mission of the Program

At Stonehill, the American Studies major is built upon our belief that the study of American society and culture allows students to develop skills in critical inquiry, communication, cultural knowledge, and self-reflection that in turn engender students’ desire to advance social justice. As American Studies majors, students pursue a program of study that seeks to better understand the complexities of America as a nation and the diverse racial and ethnic histories and cultures of its peoples and communities. Through exploring “what is America?” and “who are Americans?”, and “how do we understand America’s place in a global context?” students will have the opportunity to position themselves as products as well as shapers of American culture. The major is also built upon a commitment to civic engagement, public service and social stewardship through internships, student teaching and community partnerships. True to Stonehill’s broader mission, we seek to provide students the intellectual breadth and critical tools necessary for creating a more just and compassionate world.

Learning Goals

Majors in American Studies will:

  • become skilled in the analysis of American texts and artifacts as well as able to analyze, evaluate and contextualize different types of primary and secondary sources. 
  • communicate well in both oral and written discourse and formulate arguments coherently, support them clearly, and communicate them effectively. 
  • develop strong information literacy skills including the handling of primary and secondary sources, library use and online scholarly search tools. Students will be able to discriminate among sources and to develop protocols of utility and relevance. 
  • develop multidisciplinary perspectives and demonstrate an understanding of how each discipline would approach an object of study. Students will be able to think critically about limits of disciplinary knowledge.
  • engage in interdisciplinary integration through research which synthesizes/integrates a variety of texts. Students will be able to compare and/or contrast disciplinary perspectives.



    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study