American Studies at Lehigh

American Culture--Present and Past--at Lehigh
Richly interdisciplinary, the MA degree in American Studies expands examination of the nation's culture beyond any one framework, methodology, or geographical area.  Students move freely between history, Africana Studies, literary studies, sociology, political science, religion studies, and journalism-communication, while paying close attention to different theoretical models for understanding the meaning, politics, and power of cultural expression.
The Program deliberately overlaps America's past and present, and America in local, national, and global contexts.  Historical inquiry focuses on questions that matter today; and study of contemporary American culture emphasizes its deep and interwoven roots in a vast array of racial, ethnic, and regional traditions. Lehigh's home in the historically rich and diverse south side of Bethlehem, PA offers myriad opportunities to conduct research in the community and to connect academic knowledge to the experience and growth of a city that is increasingly global in its makeup.
While multi-faceted and flexible, Lehigh's MA degree in American Studies has particular strengths in the following faculty research and teaching areas:
  •  Documentary Film.  The American Studies Program houses the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Film which concentrates on documentary as a film genre--what is it about the form that gives it such cultural purchase?--and on technical production skills to augment one's research and teaching.
  •  Peace, War and Violence.  As the world's single superpower, the United States is more militarized today than it's ever been.  To live in America is to live in a society that produces structures of organized violence cast both abroad and on itself. Faculty expertise includes military cultural history, pacifism, and terrorism studies.
  •  Trans-nationalism and Hemispheric Studies.  As scholarship continues to focus on the interconnectivity between different nations and geographical areas, hemispheric studies examines north-south continuities between Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Faculty expertise includes Spanish-speaking North America.