Casey-N-BlakeThe Center for American Studies offers students the opportunity to explore the experience and values of the people of the United States as embodied in their history, literature, politics, art, and other enduring forms of cultural expression. American Studies takes advantage of our location in New York by involving students with the life of the city, working with community service organizations such as the Double Discovery Center, and by inviting leading figures on the New York political and cultural scene to participate in colloquia, public conferences, and classroom activities. The Center seeks to prepare students to confront with historical awareness the pressing problems that face our society. Our alumni have pursued careers in teaching, journalism, law, the arts, museum fields and other professions.

American Studies offers an interdisciplinary, seminar-based curriculum designed to be open and flexible while preparing students for a life of active citizenship. Each major and concentrator works closely with an advisor through graduation. If you want the experience of crafting your own course of study, as well as the personal attention that comes from a small program, you should consider American Studies.

Casey N. Blake

Civic Engagement


Beginning in 2009, the Center for American Studies has collaborated with the Double Discovery Center on a program that introduces high school students to college-level work in the humanities and prepares them for lives as informed, responsible citizens.

A small group of rising seniors from public high schools come to campus each summer for a rigorous three-week seminar that examines major philosophical works on the meanings of freedom and citizenship from the ancient world to the present. Taught by Roosevelt Montas, Director of Columbia's Core Curriculum, and Tamara Mann Tweel, the John R. Strassburger Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies, the seminar emphasizes close reading and analysis of works by Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, the American Founders, Lincoln, Du Bois, Dewey, King, and others...