Course diversity

“I love the diversity of classes. One can relate Native American, Islamic, African-American, Southern and Italian-American knowledge all into the same minor.”

- Pat Howell, sophomore

Great curriculum

“These are the types of classes that every student wants to take! Such a stellar curriculum.”

- Tina Tozzi, junior


“The level of flexibility with the minor is ideal.”

- Casey-Marie Claude, senior

Interdisciplinary studies

“Rather than strictly focusing on history or literature or art, it takes all of them into account to develop a more vivid, complete picture of American culture.”

- Robert Shapiro, junior

American Studies at Elon

American Studies is the interdisciplinary study of American culture. The minor provides an opportunity for students to meld interests in the culture and history of the United States in a way that they cannot in single, traditional disciplines. Students will combine knowledge and methods from anthropology, art history, communications, history, law, literature, political science, sociology and other disciplines to interrogate multiple perspectives, recognizing how various individuals, peoples and groups help create American society as well as challenge its institutions, both within and outside the United States.

“America” is here understood to comprise not only the geographically and historically delineated space of the United States, but also the symbolic construction of “America” and “American.” As a result, students will understand “America” through a variety of methodological lenses, ranging from “myth and symbol,” the earliest methodology of American Studies that interrogated recurring themes in texts that reflected American culture, to contemporary combinations of multidisciplinary approaches.  American Studies also provides a place for investigating American culture in the rest of the world and throughout history, ranging from its significance during the age of exploration to its current influence in the global experience.

The American Studies minor complements many majors and provides an opportunity for students to explore their intellectual interests beyond single disciplines. Students will find that the program provides an experience that supplements training for graduate and professional programs as well as various professions.