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Meet Prof. Maria Kennedy.  Prof. Maria Kennedy specializes in the theory and practice of public folklore and humanities, their genres of representation, and their institutions, with a focus on performance theory, festival genres, and anthropology
Meet Prof. Jameson Sweet. Prof. Jimmy Sweet specializes in Native American and Indigenous studies. His work in the 19th century analyzes the legal and racial complexities of American Indians of mixed Indian and European ancestry with a focus on kins
"Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam" By Prof. Sylvia Chan-Malik. From the stories that she gathers, Prof. Chan-Malik demonstrates the diversity and similarities of Black, Arab, South Asian, Latina, and m
Faculty Excellence: Nicole Fleetwood.  "Showcasing the Humanity of the Incarcerated. " Nicole Fleetwood, an associate professor of American Studies at Rutgers-New Brunswick and scholar on incarceration, has collaborated with Aperture magazin
Prof. Andy Urban publishes: "Brokering Servitude: Migration and the Politics of Domestic Labor." In Brokering Servitude, Andrew Urban offers a history of domestic servants, focusing on how Irish immigrant women, Chinese immigrant men, a
Make America Great Again? These People Switched Careers. "As a student at Rutgers University, Mr. Hansen majored in American studies and volunteered for various community organizations. But after graduating, he was drawn to the tech scene and learn
SAS Race and Ethnic Studies Minor. The minor in Comparative and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies is designed to introduce students to the history and politics of racial formation by bringing together courses from multiple departments engaged in th
Prof. Jeff Decker publishes "The Other Rights Revolution."  Decker demonstrates how legal and constitutional battles over property rights, preservation, and the environment helped to shape the political ideas and policy agendas of modern conservati
DISCOVER ASIAN AMERICA.  Asian American Studies Learning Community.  Throughout the semester, students will think about, discuss, and debate representations of Asian Americans in literature, history, politics, film, scholarship, current events, and popular culture.  Apply Today.  Open to all undergraduate students.  Meets on Fridays from 1:40 to 3:00pm at the Asian American Cultural Center.  Email rick.lee to request an application.
Helene K. Grynberg Scholarship For American Studies Majors.  The American Studies Department is pleased to announce scholarships for declared American Studies Majors!  To request an application, please speak with your American Studies faculty advisor.

About Us


rab1Ruth Adams Building
131 George Street

Ruth Adams Building 201
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414

Click here for directions.

Department Administrator: Olga Lozano

Phone: 848.932.3360

Contact Us

Ruth Adams Building

131 George Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414

P: 848-932-9174  F: 732-932-1169

 Department Administrator

Our Vision

vtg amerstudies21Members of the Department of American Studies are accomplished scholars and devoted teachers who introduce students to interdisciplinary work in the study of American culture and seek to advance critical skills in thinking, analysis, and writing. In American Studies classes students learn how to locate and evaluate primary sources and scholarly texts, how to write effectively and clearly, and how to apply conceptual frameworks to their lived experience and practice.

The department promotes socially engaged and historically grounded research. Students are encouraged to conduct research projects and field studies that explore the rich cultural history, ethnic and class diversity, and community networks of New Jersey. Exploration of the local and regional environment is grounded in transnational approaches to the field of American Studies wherein students are encouraged to think beyond geopolitical and historical boundaries and to consider the local within regional, national, and global networks and processes.

American Studies Program Learning Goals

Departmental Major and Minor Goals:

Cultural Competency: American Studies students will be knowledgeable about historical and present-day diversity (including gender, race, class, and sexuality, among many others) of American experiences. Students will be able to apply conceptual frameworks about cultural and historical analysis to their lived experience and practice and future aspirations.

Research Competency: Students will learn how to write and speak effectively and clearly, demonstrating the ability to explain the complex meaning and significance of a text and formulate a cogent argument supported by evidence.

Global Competency: American Studies students will understand the history, culture, and politics of the US in the context of large-scale global changes.

101: Introduction

  • Become familiar with a variety of methods for approaching a range and diversity of cultural texts.
  • Develop a basic critical vocabulary (of gender, race, class and sexuality, among others) to discuss the historical, political, and cultural dimensions of the American experience.

225: American Past and Thought

  • Acquire a framework of factual knowledge—historical, literary, cultural and scholarly—on which to build interpretation and understanding of historical and cultural phenomena.
  • Analyze historical texts across the range of cultural production (written, visual, performative) from an interdisciplinary perspective and to write lucidly and critically about them.

227: 19th Century Literature

  • Acquire a framework of factual knowledge—historical, literary, cultural and scholarly—on which to build interpretation and understanding of literary and cultural texts.
  • Analyze literary texts alongside a range of cultural production (written, visual, performative) from an interdisciplinary perspective and to write lucidly and critically about them.

310: Approaches

  • Use comparative lenses for studying American history, politics, and cultures.
  • Learn, apply, and integrate interdisciplinary methods.
  • Write clearly and critically.

389: Junior Seminar

  • Deploy analytical and methodological skills necessary in pursuing a research project in American Studies.
  • Identify and frame engaging and significant problems

489: Senior Seminar

  • Acquire an in-depth knowledge of the specific topic or field within American studies.
  • Generate own approved research topic and complete significant written work using the interdisciplinary methods of American studies.

Why American Studies

Why Choose American Studies?

vtg amerstudies2

While the size of the department has tripled in the past decade, we continue to function by encouraging a small-college atmosphere within a large state university. Majors receive the benefits of both institutional models: 1) the individual attention and guidance of a liberal arts college and 2) the numerous resources and diversity of courses and experiences offered by a large research institution.

Students who have graduated with the degree in American Studies have gone on to establish successful careers in education, journalism and media production, public policy, law, public relations and business. Some of the opportunities afforded students include engagement with public history and monument projects, internships, and working on the management team and volunteering for the New Jersey Folk Festival, one of the largest and best attended events organized by Rutgers University and housed in the department.

Administrative Contact Information

Ruth Adams Building

131 George Street
RAB 201
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414
Main telephone number: 848-932-3360
Fax: 732-932-1169


Prof. Louis Masur
Office: RAB 202/211

Phone: 848-932-3498

Director for Undergraduate Studies

Prof. Jeff Decker
Office: RAB 024E

Phone: 848-932-3336

Department Administrator

Ms. Olga Lozano
Office: RAB 201
Phone: 848.932.9174



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Ruth Adams Building
131 George Street
RAB 201 & RAB 211
New Brunswick, NJ

tel. 848-932-3360