Cultural Awareness and Critical Skills 

American Studies is an interdisciplinary endeavor to better understand the American nation, its cultures and the diverse histories of its peoples and communities. This broad approach helps students develop skills in critical inquiry, communication, cultural knowledge and self-reflection that in turn engender a desire to advance social justice.

Key Program Attributes

An Opportunity to Shape American Culture

The American Studies major is built upon our belief that the study of American society and culture allows students to develop skills in critical inquiry, communication, cultural knowledge and self-reflection that in turn engender students’ desire to shape the world beyond their classroom. Through exploring “what is America?” and “who are Americans?”, students will have the opportunity to position themselves as products as well as shapers of American culture.

A Commitment to Civic Engagement, Social Stewardship

The major in American Studies is also built upon a commitment to civic engagement, public service and social stewardship through internships, student teaching and community partnerships. Faculty members work with students individually, helping them to create a program of study according to their interests and goals. A major in American Studies is sometimes paired with another major such as history, education, political science, arts or communication. Faculty members work with students individually, helping them to create a program of study according to their interests and goals.

A Multifaceted View on Important Issues

At Stonehill, the American Studies major draws on the strength of faculty in several departments: history, English, sociology, communication, political science, economics, arts and religious studies, among others. It often serves as a popular, practical and enriching double major choice for students in education, English, political science or business.

Sample Courses

Native Voices in American Culture

AMS112
More than Mascots! In this course we will analyze fiction, memoire, mainstream and independent film, folklore, photography, and popular culture artifacts to explore the role the American Indian has played in the American imagination and how Native artists and activists have responded to these images. Students will use methods from American Studies, and cultural and literary studies in understanding the complex shaping of cultural identity.

Intro to American Studies

AMS200
Introduction to the study of America from an interdisciplinary perspective, emphasizing critical analysis of culture though exploration of a wide range of cultural artifacts, including literary and historical texts, visual images and material objects. Students will examine the many aspects of thought, expression, and behavior that have shaped and defined the complex society of the United States while exploring their own relationship to America's diverse history and culture. Of particular concern are the diverse cultural experiences and meaning that shape individual and collective notions of American identity. Limited to 25.

The Economics of Sports

ECO244
The course analyzes the industry of sports, especially professional and big-time college sports, using and developing tools of economic analysis, mainly microeconomics. Topics include the salary structure of professional team sports and the effects of free agency; the factors affecting sports attendance; the value of sports programming to broadcasters, and the effect of television revenues; the effect of the NCAA on television contracts and student-athlete choices; the economic effects of professional sports franchises and stadia.

Recent Internship Opportunities

Partnerships & Special Programs

Stonehill College has developed academic affiliations with colleges and universities that enable our students to augment the degree they earn at Stonehill with graduate and undergraduate degrees that further enhance their opportunities.

American Studies truly completed my Stonehill experience. The perspectives I gained have all contributed to the connection I share with my diverse group of fifth-graders.

Andrea Opitz

Andrea Opitz

Assistant Professor of English, American Studies Program Director
Cushing Martin 127
English