undergraduate minor in American studies at Rutgers University–Newark explores American
politics, culture, and society in Newark, northern New Jersey, and
around the world. Our courses embrace interdisciplinary methods and draw
on disciplines ranging from English to sociology to history.
conduct research in traditional academic settings and also learn to interpret
American culture as it is expressed in cities and suburbs, cultural
institutions, and everyday life. Research, analysis, and writing are central to
our minor, but we also encourage students to work in the public
humanities in ways that encourage dialogue between our university and the
public around us.
1: Train students in the interdisciplinary study of American culture and
develop research skills enabling them to produce essays and cultural
productions that illuminate and analyze American culture.
student achievement of Goal 1.
minor in American studies are required to take both introductory and advanced
courses in a broad range of academic disciplines so that they can analyze
American culture in interdisciplinary ways.
While the entry-level
course in the minor is specific to the interdisciplinary field of American studies, students are also required to take core courses in American history
and American literature before moving on to take three upper-level courses in
an area of concentration of their choosing. Courses in an area of concentration
are taken in programs and departments affiliated with the American studies
program: English; history; political science; arts, culture and media; sociology/anthropology; philosophy; Spanish and Portuguese; African and African
American studies; and women and gender studies. A total of 21 credits is required
for the minor.
written evaluations in coursework.
Role of the
program in helping students to achieve Goal 1.
research are integrated into Introduction to American Studies. When a student
needs assistance to learn effective strategies for writing and research, the
instructor may refer the student to the Writing Center for help.
To focus their
studies, students who minor in American studies are required to organize their
elective courses in American studies around an area of concentration of their
2: Foster student research that explores American civilization's heterodox
identities, institutions, and cultures.
student achievement of Goal 2.
essays and exams that require them to produce analytical arguments grounded in
evidence found in libraries, archives, cultural institutions, and communities
around our campus.
with their professors to discuss the state of their work.
Role of the
program in helping students to achieve Goal 2.
students to research strategies starting in Introduction to American Studies.
archives and other collections of sources in our region in both coursework and
brings scholars to campus for lectures and seminars to introduce students to
leading scholars and research topics in American studies.
3: Encourage the original, creative, and academically substantial work in
public history and public humanities that engages diverse audiences and
student achievement of Goal 3.
take a course or internship in public humanities that will introduce them to key
themes and practices in the field.
encouraged to conduct for-credit independent study or fieldwork, under faculty
supervision, to produce works of public history and public humanities.
Role of the
program in helping students to achieve Goal 3.
appropriate, faculty members encourage students to produce work in the public
humanities as part of their coursework.
supports lectures, conferences, performances, and presentations relevant to
American studies on campus.