Section American Studies
The Department of American Studies explores the ways in which US-American writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, and musicians have explored what Henry James called the “complex fate” of being an American.
We introduce students to the culture(s) of the United States in courses that explore America’s literary and cultural history, pay special attention to the contributions of the ethnic groups that compose the country’s population, critically examine the country’s claims to uniqueness, and interrogate its participation in transnational culture and politics.
Our department places particular emphasis on providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools they need to interpret literary texts and other cultural artefacts. The skills we hope to impart to our students include analytic and argumentative precision, aesthetic sensitivity, intellectual independence, and the capacity for critical reflection.