The American Studies concentration takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of United States culture, society, civilization, and identity through the curricular lenses of history, literature, critical theory, and more.

Explore the evolution of American history, society, and culture through CGU’s distinct multidisciplinary research approach while supplementing your humanities degree. Available to students in our Applied Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, English, History, and Religion programs, the formal concentration in American Studies is awarded in conjunction with the degree and noted on the student’s transcript as an additional area of qualification.

American Studies concentration students work closely with faculty advisors to pursue an intellectually unified course of study that includes seminars in their own department as well as seminars cross-listed with participating CGU departments and The Claremont Colleges. A minimum of four seminars should be taken in the student’s home department along with a minimum of two seminars in other disciplines.

Note: In some cases, fulfilling the requirements of this concentration as well as the core requirements for the student’s degree may involve additional units or research tools. Students should always consult with their academic advisors before adding a concentration to their degree program.


The School of Arts & Humanities lets you tailor your program to target your specific interests. You’ll conduct research across disciplines to approach problems in new ways, all in an intimate, collegial learning environment where faculty-mentors offer you personal attention, and opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship abound.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

This interdisciplinary concentration is available for students pursuing the following degree programs:

Featured Courses

HIST 367
Nuclear America

Studies the powerful and pervasive effects of nuclear energy—military, commercial, and civilian—on the U.S. from 1945 to the present with an additional focus on such global events as Chernobyl and Fukushima.

HIST 342
Pacific Worlds

Explores multiple facets of Pacific Islander history, including pre-western contact, indigenous issues, global empires, and contemporary issues.

ENG 380
American Women Writers From Puritans to the Present

Explores the traditions of writing by women in historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts in order to trace the trajectory of American women from subservient help meets to individuals with varying degrees of agency.

ENG 480
Adaptation: Fiction Into Film

Examines films adapted from novels to better understand the process of adapting writing into a visual format, analyzing the practical challenges like omission of dialogue and translation of verbal into the visual.

ENG 323
Harlem Renaissance & Literature of the Americas

Explores the writings of the Harlem Renaissance as intimately connected to a broader literature of the Americas, examining meanings of race, gender, and nationalism in the early 20th century.

ENG 467
U.S. Latino/a/x Literature & Culture

Takes an interdisciplinary approach to Latin/x literature and cultural production, exploring key themes such as hybrid identities, U.S. imperialism, and the Latinization of urban America.

Program Requirements

Students will work closely with a faculty advisor to pursue an intellectually unified course of study that will include seminars in their department as well as seminars cross-listed with participating CGU departments and The Claremont Colleges.

A minimum of four seminars should be taken in the student’s home department, plus a minimum of two seminars in other disciplines. Interested students should discuss this concentration with their advisor.

Faculty & Research

  • Wendy Martin profile image

    Wendy Martin

    Professor of American Literature and American Studies

    Research Interests

    American literature and culture, American poetry, American studies, Women’s studies, Death and Dying in American Literature and Culture; Jazz in American Culture

  • Janet Farrell Brodie profile image

    Janet Farrell Brodie

    Professor of History
    Professor Emerita

    Research Interests

    Cold War, War and American history, Women and gender, nuclear and radiation history, nuclear secrecy

  • JoAnna Poblete profile image

    JoAnna Poblete

    Professor of History
    John D. and Lillian Maguire Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
    Chair, History Department

    Research Interests

    Colonialism and empire, unincorporated territories, migration and labor, comparative ethnic studies, Asian-American and Pacific Islander studies, 20th-century United States, indigenous issues, environmental history, oral history, U.S. expansionism

  • David Luis-Brown profile image

    David Luis-Brown

    Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and English
    Chair, Cultural Studies Department

    Research Interests

    Hemispheric Americas studies, Latino/a/x studies, Black diaspora studies, American literature and culture

  • Linda Perkins profile image

    Linda Perkins

    University Professor
    Director, Applied Gender Studies

    Research Interests

    Women and African-American higher education, history and contemporary issues on women in higher education, especially Black women, global gender issues.

  • Daniel Ramírez profile image

    Daniel Ramírez

    Associate Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    American religious history; Latin American religious history; Religion, migration, and transnationalism; Religion in borderlands; Contemporary theories of religion

Request information about the American Studies program

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Jill Steggall

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1186