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Program Overview

What is American Studies?

American Studies is a major that focuses on the study of the United States and its diverse peoples, cultures, institutions, regions and histories. American Studies at the University of Hawai’i provides a strong foundation in traditional American Studies areas along with a special focus on the United States’ relations with Asia and the Pacific. The program provides a broad liberal arts education as well as excellent preparation for further graduate work in many fields and professions.

Aloha Oe by Cynthia Conrad

“Aloha Oe” by Cynthia Conrad

American Studies allows you to blaze your own path but with the full support of a regular faculty and a vibrant community of students. With small, seminar-style classes, our undergraduate program emphasizes critical thinking, writing and research. It combines the perspectives and techniques of multiple approaches to knowledge to enliven the process of learning. American Studies students fuse examinations of the past (history), analyses of culture (arts and literature) and considerations of the social order (politics) in order to come to a fuller understanding of the different dimensions of the American experience. Our majors devise individual programs that integrate a variety of fields, including film, literature, politics, music, popular culture, ethnic studies, gender studies, media, and sports in their efforts to understand how the world works and how it came to be. We also encourage our students to take classes outside the department, allowing them remarkable freedom to design their own course of study.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
Upon completion of an AMST BA, all students should have acquired:
• Substantial knowledge of American history, society, and culture, as well as a basic appreciation of different      scholarly approaches to American Studies.
• Critical thinking skills necessary to analyze a variety of cultural artifacts (literature, primary documents, film,    music, etc.), as well as historical and present-day sociopolitical issues.
• Competence in scholarly writing and oral communication.
• Basic research skills, including advanced research skills in one area of specialization (majors only).