About our 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.
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 on themes such as 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 expansive and critical perspectives and understandings of the historical, societal, and cultural dimensions of life across the vast spacetime of America.
Video of St. Louis International Film Festival Q&A Session: MLK/FBI
Q&A session following the viewing of the documentary "MLK/FBI" during the St. Louis International Film Festival with AMCS Director Lerone Martin, Director Sam Pollard, and Co-Writer/Producer Benjamin Hedin.
Books for 2020 and Beyond: Kit Smemo, Lecturer in History
Kit Smemo discusses the importance of "Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880" by W.E.B. Du Bois.
Books for 2020 and Beyond: Phil Maciak, Lecturer in English and AMCS
Phil Maciak discusses the importance of Kehinde Wiley's work and his exhibition catalog "St. Louis."
Books for 2020 and Beyond: A discussion with Heidi Kolk, Assistant Professor Sam Fox School
In this weeks installment of our "Books for 2020 and Beyond" series, Heidi Kolk shares why Dolores Hayden's "The Power of Place" is important to her.
"What Are You Teaching in Spring 2021?" with Phil Maciak, Lecturer in English and American Culture Studies
Phil Maciak discusses L98 206 Reading Culture: The Visible and Invisible: Introduction to American Visual Culture.
"What Are You Teaching in Spring 2021?" with Heidi Kolk, Assistant Professor, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Heidi Kolk discusses her Spring 2021 course, L98 2062 Visualizing the American City.
"What Are You Teaching in Spring 2021?" with Kit Smemo, Lecturer in History
Kit Smemo discusses L98 359 - Topics in American Culture Studies: Protest and Power in Modern America.
"What Are You Teaching in Spring 2021?" with Alfred Darnell, Political Science Lecturer
Alfred Darnell discusses his Spring 2021 course L98 301B Individual and Community.
"What Are You Teaching in Spring 2021?" with Zach Manditch-Prottas, AFAS Lecturer
Zach Manditch-Prottas discusses his spring 2021 class, L98 330S - Native Sons & Daughters: Gender, Sexuality, and African-American Culture
"What Are You Teaching in Spring 2021?" with Dave Walsh, AMCS Lecturer
Dave Walsh discusses his spring 2021 class, L98 301T - Pandemics, Power, & Propaganda.
Books for 2020 and Beyond: Zach Manditch-Prottas
This week's installment of our "Books for 2020 and Beyond" series, AFAS Lecturer Zach Manditch-Prottas discusses the significance of James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time."
Books for 2020 and Beyond: Dave Walsh, Lecturer in AMCS
In the second installment of our “Books for 2020 and Beyond” series, AMCS Lecturer Dave Walsh shares why Khalil Gibran Muhammad's "The Condemnation of Blackness" resonates with him.
Americanist Dinner Forum: Faith, Hollywood, and Presidential Rhetoric in the 2020 Election
This round table discussion featured Professor Kathryn Brownell, Purdue University, Washington University Professors Wayne Fields, and Abram Van Engen. The event was moderated by AMCS Director Professor Lerone Martin.
Books for 2020 and Beyond: A discussion with Karen Skinner, AMCS Academic Coordinator
Karen Skinner, AMCS Academic Coordinator, discusses her favorite book on the American Experience.
Dr. Sari Altschuler - Americanist Dinner Forum 10/1/20
A recording of the October 1, 2020 Americanist Dinner Forum with Dr. Sari Altschuler, "After the Outbreak: Narrative, Infrastructure, and Pandemic Time."