Program in American Studies
It has never been more important or more challenging for us to understand America’s place in the world and to grapple with the horizons and limits of its democratic aspirations. The Princeton Program in American Studies, founded in 1942, offers a curriculum and a research home for addressing this demand in the 21st century. We sponsor teaching, research, and public discussion about the history, literature, art, politics, society and culture of the United States. By bringing together students and faculty from the arts, the humanities, and social sciences to explore questions that cross disciplinary boundaries, the Program reflects a generative field of intellectual curiosity and creativity, a nexus of energy and engagement. American Studies scholars share a dynamic commitment to democratic inquiry rather than a universally agreed upon canon of required methods or venerated works. The field encompasses an eclectic array of practices and pedagogies that cohere around openness to studying diverse research objects, asking a broad range of research questions, and engaging with a wide range of scholarly approaches, methods and theories. We strive to gain a deeper and broader perspective on issues which profoundly affect contemporary life and scholarship, including questions of migration, colonization, race, borders, and diaspora; art, culture, and language; law and public policy; and gender and sexuality. We aim to understand America in the world as well as how the world lives in America.