American Studies at Lehigh is the graduate home for cutting edge work that crosses the humanities and social sciences. At the turn of the twenty-first century, this field provides a capacious site for the study of gender, religion, race, and related vectors of culture in the Americas, understood broadly and transnationally. Applying cultural and social thought to such matters as citizenship, democracy, community, poverty and prosperity, politics, popular culture, and identity in this region makes American Studies an intellectually sophisticated yet practical course of graduate study, one that can also be combined with community-based work, bringing theory and praxis together.
As George Lipsitz writes, confronting the “painful paradoxes” at the heart of this hemisphere’s history has made American studies “a place where strangers can meet, where ideas are aired, where problems are diagnosed, envisioned and enacted.” Today, American Studies is a deeply transnational enterprise. It is no longer about American exceptionalism, and it reaches well beyond the borders of the contemporary United States.
Our faculty come from a wide variety of departments in the humanities and social sciences, including English, History, Journalism, Philosophy, Religion Studies, and Sociology. They work with students to translate their interests into exciting courses, internships, community projects, and published work.