Welcome from the Director
The Center for American Studies is Columbia’s hub for interdisciplinary studies and civic engagement. We offer a seminar-based curriculum designed to be flexible and open while preparing students for a life of active citizenship. Drawing on Columbia’s renowned faculty across nearly every department and institute, our course offerings explore a multitude of American experiences through the study of history, politics, and cultural expressions across many genres.
The Center seeks to prepare students to confront with historical awareness the problems that face our society.
The Center seeks to prepare students to confront with historical awareness the problems that face our society. Our students emerge with both a broad understanding of the foundational texts of American history and culture from the 17th century to the present and a specialization that allows them to demonstrate mastery over a particular thread.
American Studies takes advantage of our location in New York by involving students in the life of the city working with community service organizations including The Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center and the Freedom and Citizenship Program. We invite leading figures and scholars from New York’s political and cultural scenes to participate in colloquia, conferences and classroom activities. Our alumni pursue careers in teaching, journalism, law, media and the arts, museum fields and many other professions.
Mendelson Family Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, Center for American Studies, Department of History