The goal of Hamilton's American Studies Program is to impart a deep understanding of the uniqueness of U.S. culture through interdisciplinary study that provides students with the tools to uncover the philosophical and creative connections linking American political institutions, social structures and artistic practices, both in the past and today.
American Studies is the exploration of civilization and culture in the United States. It uses the methods and perspectives of several disciplines – particularly history and literature – as lenses through which the nation and its cultural heritage may be examined. In this way, the American Studies Program at Hamilton is representative of the most enduring liberal arts traditions and principles. Yet American studies is highly innovative as well. Our interdisciplinary approach fosters creativity and originality by encouraging students to work closely with faculty members as they develop and pursue individual plans of study.
At the center of the American studies curriculum are an introductory course, in which students explore recurring historical themes and learn the research methods used in the field, and an intensive seminar, taken in the junior or senior year, that focuses on a particular topic or era. Students also take selected courses in U.S. literature and U.S. history. From this base, students work closely with their faculty mentors to chart their own academic paths through study in departments such as Art History, Government, Africana Studies, Theater, Hispanic Studies, Anthropology, Philosophy and others.