American Studies

The purpose of the American Studies program at Fairfield University is for students to engage the idea of America as it has been culturally imagined and contested throughout history, both within and beyond U.S. national borders. Students also consider their own place, engagement, and responsibilities as participants in the unfolding narratives of America within a global context. Interdisciplinary in its goal, the program draws from a wide range of courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in order to help students develop the ability to read America, in all its manifestations, as a rich and dynamic cultural artifact.

Offered as both a major and minor, our course variety allows students to create their own line of study, or a double major, combining American Studies with a traditional academic discipline, giving them some extra advantages towards future careers in business, law, education, public service, or graduate studies.

AMST 2201 Roots of American Culture    3 Credits

Prerequisite: One American Studies Gateway course.

This course provides an introduction to the study of American culture. In familiarizing students with the variety of interdisciplinary ways to approach American Studies, students will examine the diverse experiences, intellectual traditions, and cultural touchstones that make American life a rich and fascinating object of study. Using a variety of sources, students will survey the following themes: race, ethnicity and immigration; expression and imagination; values and ethics; gender; institutional power and politics; and America as a global identity. Previously AS 200.

AMST 3980 Internship    1-3 Credits

The internship program allows students to gain on-site access experience in a wide variety of fields, including, but not limited to, law, marketing, magazine publishing. These positions are available upon recommendation of the program intern supervisor, under whose guidance the students assume the jobs, which require 10-15 hours a week. Students may take one internship for credit toward the American Studies major. Students may take a second internship for elective credit. Enrollment by permission only. Previously AS 0350.

AMST 3990 Independent Research Project    3 Credits

During their senior year, each American studies major writes a research paper under the supervision of several participating faculty members. Students integrate different intellectual disciplines in the design and execution of their projects. Previously AS 0399.


Willsky-Ciollo (Religious Studies)


Alberda (Politics)
Alphonso (Politics)
Bucki (History)
Carolan (Modern Languages and Literatures)
Downie (Politics)
Eliasoph (Visual and Performing Arts)
Garvey (English)
Hohl (History)
King (History)
Lawrence (History)
LoMonaco (Visual and Performing Arts)
McFadden (History)
Nguyen (Religious Studies)
Orlando (English)
Palmer (History)
Perez (English)
Petrino (English)
Rugg (Communication)
Sealey (Philosophy)
Torff (Visual and Performing Arts)
Umansky (Religious Studies)
Willsky-Ciollo (Religious Studies)