skip to content

Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

American Studies

Director: Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Program Coordinators: Richard Gillam, Judith Richardson

Committee in Charge: Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English, Chair), Barton J. Bernstein (History,emeritus), Jennifer DeVere Brody (Drama), Scott Bukatman (Art and Art History, on leave), James T. Campbell (History), Gordon H. Chang (History), Michele B. Elam (English), James Fishkin (Communication, and by courtesy, Political Science), Estelle Freedman (History), Richard Gillam (American Studies), Leah Gordon (Education), Allyson Hobbs (History), Nicholas Jenkins (English), Gavin Jones (English), Doug McAdam (Sociology), Hilton Obenzinger (English), David Palumbo-Liu (Comparative Literature), Jack Rakove (History, Political Science), Arnold Rampersad (English, emeritus), Vaughn Rasberry (English), Judith Richardson (English), Ramón Saldívar (English, Comparative Literature), Gary Segura (Political Science), Stephen Sohn (English, on leave), Fred Turner (Communication), Caroline Winterer (History), Bryan Wolf (Art and Art History), Gavin Wright (Economics)

Program Offices: Building 460

Mail Code: 94305-2022

Phone: (650) 723-3413


Web Site:

Courses offered by American Studies Program are listed under the subject code AMSTUD on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in American Studies

The mission of the undergraduate program in American Studies is to provide students with a broad understanding of American culture and society. Building on a foundation of courses in history and institutions, literature and the arts, and race and ethnicity, students learn to analyze and interpret America's past and present, forging fresh and creative syntheses along the way. The program is an interdisciplinary major and, beyond the core requirements of the major, students may define and pursue their own interests from fields such as history, literature, art, communication, theatre, African American studies, feminist studies, economics, anthropology, religious studies, Chicana/o studies, law, sociology, education, Native American studies, music, and film. The program is designed to provide students majoring in American Studies with excellent preparation for further study in graduate or professional schools as well as careers in government, business, or other specialized fields.


The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. higher order, interdisciplinary, historically informed understanding of how to think about American culture and society, drawing on course work in: history and institutions; literature, art, and culture; comparative race and ethnicity; and each student's individualized thematic focus.
  2. ability to identify and critically to assess different disciplinary, methodological, and interpretive approaches to the study of Americans and their past.
  3. ability to produce their own persuasive, nuanced, fact-based interpretations reflecting a close critical reading and analysis of relevant primary or secondary sources.
  4. ability to express their interpretive and analytical arguments in clear, effective prose.
  5. ability to listen actively and to contribute to productive intellectual discussion in class.

© Stanford University - Office of the Registrar. Archive of the Stanford Bulletin 2011-12. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints