American Studies Concentration
In courses and through experiential learning and research activities American Studies students consider the various ways in which "American" identity is constructed, contested, and transformed through formal and informal means in all areas of human activity. Students engage with the city of Salem and with regional non-profit organizations and cultural institutions (e.g., museums and social service agencies) as well as with cultures and people outside of the United States as part of standard coursework. Emphasis is placed also on global, comparative and transnational issues and students have opportunities for individualized experiential learning throughout the program (civically-engaged/service-learning; internships; collaborations with on-US-based universities).
Given American Studies' emphasis on a critical and integrative analysis of the United States in multiple contexts, American Studies concentrators develop valuable transferable skills in critical reasoning, intercultural competencies, oral communication, writing, interdisciplinary thinking, and research. A degree in American Studies positions graduates to succeed in the 21st century global community while providing excellent preparation for many professions and numerous areas of graduate training.
The departments from which students may select concentration elective courses are: Art + Design, Economics, English, Geography, History, Media and Communications, Music and Dance, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and World Languages and Cultures.
Local/Global Opportunities for Engagement:
American Studies students (majors and minors) regularly complete coursework that links them to and the with students and communities outside the US (in Europe, the Middle East, and West Africa) and both majors and minors have the opportunity to apply for a semester, year or summer study in American Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany. This exchange program allows students to study outside the US at the cost of an SSU education. The American Studies program also has collaborations including opportunities for student travel to Quebec City, Canada and Thessaloniki, Greece.