American Studies

American Studies

What is it?

American Studies at Hendrix offers an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of U.S. history and culture. It embodies the liberal arts aim of providing a breadth of knowledge to prepare students to be educated, inquisitive, and engaged participants of this dynamic and polysemous entity we call the United States. American Studies does not equate with narrowness of perspective—rather, the goal of our program is to consider critically and creatively what “America” means both at home and abroad.

Who should consider it?

American Studies is the perfect field for students who want to pursue specialized graduate studies in, say, American history, because it exposes them early to other ways of knowing their subject. It’s the perfect field for future journalists, activists, and government leaders who want a solid and broad understanding of how the country works. It’s the perfect field for students who want to specialize in such areas as African American Studies and Southern Studies. 

What’s special about it at Hendrix?

Our introductory course is actually a pair of courses on the same subject, in different disciplines, taken the same semester, and “linked” together. This uncommon practice demands that our new American Studies students are immediately immersed in the interdisciplinary method. And Hendrix’s Odyssey program nicely complements classwork by engaging students in experiential learning through internships and other participatory endeavors.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jane Harris, Program Chair.