Photo by Mathew Ursua / CC BY / Cropped from Original

What is American Studies?

The American Studies community is committed to the kind of scholarship that intervenes constructively in public life. Among our faculty and students are many who have changed the world in ways large and small—whether exposing injustices against Native Hawaiians, challenging the prison system, reforming the education budget, creating public art and performances or preserving precious historical sites. It’s our hope that, for you too, what you learn in the classroom can move the world. And vice versa—your vision of the world will inform and enliven what you as a student bring to the classroom.


An interdisciplinary field that focuses on the diverse histories, cultures, institutions, and peoples of the United States and its territories in transnational context. University of Hawaiʻi’s unique location in the Pacific supports areas of special expertise in Indigenous Studies and U.S. relations with Asia and Pacific. Many American Studies scholars explore the workings of power through the lens of race, ethnicity, sexuality, region, class, immigration status, and gender as they think beyond the boundaries of the nation state, examining the United States in interaction with broader regional, oceanic, and global systems.

Editorial Home of American Quarterly since 2014

The Department of American Studies at the University of Hawai’i is proud to house the editorial office of American Quarterly, the official publication of the American Studies Association, for a ten-year period beginning July 2014.  Through a rigorous peer review and editorial process, American Quarterly publishes cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on American history, society, and culture.