Class of 2017
Michael Realbuto '17
Majoring in American Studies has allowed me to take a number of courses that intersect with my interests in history and cultural studies. AMS also gave me the ability to examine American culture from several unique perspectives (race, class, gender). Understanding these perspectives is pivotal to completely understanding the American experience.
Jackie Salg '17
New Haven, CT
I am an American Studies major because the discipline allows me to explore my wide range of interests through studying cultural, social, political, economical and racial experiences in America. The breadth and depth of material coupled with the AMS framework for analysis makes the major relevant to many different career plans. The diverse material along with my dedicated professors have helped me to win a fellowship in Washington, D.C. and explore the ways in which I can apply my skills to issues that I am passionate about.
Eric Smiley '17
Glen Cove, NY
I have always enjoyed learning about history. I also wanted to know more about America and liked the unique interdisciplinary approach of American Studies. It is rare for a major to include such a variety of courses and focus on a great diversity of topics.
Susan Spina ‘17
American Studies first captured my heart when I took the class American Popular Music. I love being able to dissect our culture and understand and how and why we do the things we do.
Drew Wicas ‘17
Newton Square, PA
I decided to become an American Studies major because I loved its interdisciplinary approach to history! I also have a keen interest in social justice, which has been greatly informed and shaped by the American Studies classes. Overall, American Studies has helped me think critically about almost all aspects of American life and history.
Wyatt Behringer ‘18
I decided to be an American Studies major because understanding the many different narratives that define American culture and what it means to be an American is critically important to me. American Studies allows me to engage with much of American history I was never exposed to, and experience the many different diverse subcultures that play a vital role in defining what American culture is today. These aspects of American Studies allows me a more holistic perspective on the American experience.
Tom Fogel Burlan ‘18
I came to a liberal arts college because there's a lot of interesting stuff to learn in the world. I didn't want to be tied down learning about only American history, or culture, or government, I wanted to learn about everything. American Studies lets me do everything.
Matt Henninger ‘18
I decided to major in American Studies (joint AMS-Music major) because I was fascinated by the curriculum's emphasis of using US history and culture to analyze the development of our young nation and its massive influence on the world. I encounter and apply phenomena from my AMS courses on a daily basis, which has revolutionized the way that I perceive my surroundings on and off-campus. By taking my first AMS class, I was provided with the opportunity of being a part of a multidisciplinary research team in the summer of 2016 with Professor Eric Usner conducting ethnographic research at Central Market, where I studied its role in Lancaster's agrarian tourism industry.
Charisma Lambert ‘18
In the spring of my sophomore year, I took a class, purely based on its title- Race Movies, with Professor Joe Clark. I enjoyed the deep discussions we had and the openness with which we could share our genuine thoughts on the topics. After further conversations with Professor Clark, I realized that pursuing a major in American Studies would allow me to engage in conversations like those. Since declaring in the fall of my sophomore year, I have never had second thoughts about my decision.
Patrick Quinlan ‘18
I wanted to have a degree that would be relevant to the career field I want to enter after college. I also chose to be an AMS major because of my professors and other professors I have had the chance to speak to about the AMS major.
Leah Brenner '15
Kennett Square, PA
I am an American Studies major because with the first AMS class I took, I fell in love with the unique way that American Studies views America and also the world. I love the opportunities I have had to study in various places within the United States and also abroad. I appreciate having close relationships with my professors, who have been instrumental in shaping my undergraduate career. I have also enjoyed taking advantage of opportunities to participate in research projects of great significance, such as my Hackman Summer Scholarship working on the Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted.
Marcus Brown '15
Being an American Studies major has taught me how to question and observe the world as it happens around me. My whole life I have been naturally inquisitive. American Studies has taught me to utilize this and taught me how to ask the right questions to become better connected to my community and those around me.
Courtney Rinden '16
Yorba Linda, CA
I chose to declare an American Studies major after realizing the discipline's diversity. True to the nature of liberal arts, American Studies encompasses history, social movement, arts, and popular media to examine the larger cultural narratives we tell about our country and its place on the global stage. I constantly find topics and ideas discussed in class at work in my everyday experiences. The framework for critical analysis of constructed meanings is an essential tool that I will use for the rest of my life to consider my place in both global and local communities. Plus, the professors are fun!