About the AMCS Program

American Culture Studies (AMCS) is a program in Arts & Sciences at Washington University that fosters the cross-disciplinary study of America. We promote an ecumenical, multidisciplinary, pluralistic, and transnational view of studies of America and associated historical, societal, political, material, and cultural contexts and conditions. Our approach is theoretically and empirically inclusive, emphasizing the enormous diversity within American society and the wider world. We are especially concerned with issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and other social contrasts that spur so much debate, expression, and conflict within the United States and across borders and transnational spaces.

We support the study of America in many forms, including via support for faculty and student research; our Program Initiatives, which are three- to five-year endeavors centered on themes and issues that bring together faculty from many disciplinary backgrounds and areas of study to work together on projects; the staging of lectures, workshops, symposia and other programing; the hosting of multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate courses that introduce students to rich subjects and multiple methodologies, and pressing issues in American society; and place- and fieldwork-based learning opportunities, such as the bi-annual On Location travel seminar.

For undergraduates and graduate students, including the Harvey Graduate Fellows and Harvey Undergraduate Scholars programs, AMCS offers diverse curricular emphases and opportunities for cross-disciplinary study, and mentoring from faculty in different fields who can support their intellectual growth. The AMCS Major includes a series of concentration areas that express our multiple foci, including “The Construction of Race and Ethnicity”; “Popular Culture”; ‘Social Thought and Social Problems; and “Visual, Material and Digital Cultures.” Both the MA program and the PhD Certificate program offer similarly rich areas of study.

Above all else, our aim is to foster an expansive view of America and historical, societal, and cultural resonances, critical perspective and inquiry, and intellectual growth and community.

key contact

Contact the AMCS office for more information: amcs@wustl.edu