American Studies

Master of Arts
Doctor of Philosophy

For More Information

Campus address: Burdine Hall (BUR) 437, phone (512) 471-7277, fax (512) 471-3540; campus mail code: B7100

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program, Department of American Studies, 2505 University Avenue B7100, Austin TX 78712

E-mail: mdillman@austin.utexas.edu

URL: http://liberalarts.utexas.edu/ams/

Facilities for Graduate Work

The University offers several unique resources for research on America. The Harry Ransom Center includes celebrated rare book and manuscript collections in American and modern literature; the Gernsheim Collection, one of the world’s largest archives of photographs, negatives, and books related to the history of photography; the Performing Arts Collection, with material related to the theatre, movies, vaudeville, the circus, and the history of magic; and the New York Journal-American photographic archive. Recent major acquisitions include the papers of Norman Mailer, Woody Allen, David Foster Wallace, Woodward and Bernstein’s records of the Watergate investigation, and the Magnum Archive Collection. The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is one of the world’s great archives of materials about and from Latin America. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History contains the early archives of Texas, the largest collection now extant of historical manuscripts dealing with Texas, an extensive collection of rare and scarce books, pamphlets, and broadsides related to Texas and Southwestern history, as well as major national collections related to journalists, political figures, and activists from the 1960s and 1970s. The holdings of the Blanton Museum of Art include the Mari and James A. Michener Collection of American Painting and the C. R. Smith Collection of Art of the American West. Winedale, an outdoor museum of restored 19th-century Texas buildings, is a center for research in historic preservation and material culture.

The University Libraries provide some of the best research facilities in the United States. Convenient to the University are other research facilities, including the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, the Texas State Library and Archives, the United Daughters of the Confederacy Library, the Catholic Archives of Texas, the Archives of the Episcopal Church, and the Republic of Texas Museum.

Areas of Study

The University has one of the oldest and most highly regarded programs in American studies, which focuses on the cultural, social, and intellectual life of the United States, as well as the place of the United States and US citizens in the world. Students in the department analyze the American past and present from the perspectives of several disciplines, learn to synthesize their knowledge, and acquire the habits of mind needed for cultural analysis.

The program offers courses in areas such as American intellectual, cultural, and artistic life; race, ethnicity, and gender; cultural geography and material culture; and the public arts and popular culture. Specific courses are offered on topics such as immigration, transnationalism, and diaspora; American political theory; property, race, and critical legal studies; religion and psychology; childhood studies; food and foodways; animals; technology and design; social movements and radical political cultures; feminism, fashion, and beauty; the experiences of Latin American and Caribbean descendants in the United States; space and place; and public memory. The program also invites students to take advantage of the resources of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, the Center for Asian American Studies, the Center for Mexican American Studies, the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies. American studies courses are sometimes cross-listed with other courses throughout the University; in addition to the department’s core faculty, students may work with faculty members from departments such as anthropology, art and art history, English, geography and the environment, government, history, radio-television-film, religious studies, and from the School of Architecture, School of Law, and College of Education.

The courses that American studies students take outside the program train them in areas of expertise relevant to their central interests. With the approval of the graduate advisor in American studies, these courses may be in any of the liberal arts or in architecture, business, communication, education, fine arts, law, the sciences, or public affairs.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in the spring 2023 semester.

Ricardo C Ainslie
Alex A Beasley
Henry W Brands
Simone Arlene Browne
Erika M Bsumek
Craig A Campbell
Ivan Y Chaar Lopez
Edward Chambers
Lina Chhun
Cary Cordova
Janet M Davis
Caroline Faria
Laura G Gutierrez
Lauren Jae Gutterman
John Hartigan
Steven D Hoelscher
Alison Kafer
Randolph R Lewis
Stephen H Marshall
Erin Mariel Brownstein McElroy
Jeffrey L Meikle
Julia L Mickenberg
Lisa L Moore
Mary Magdalen Rivas-Rodriguez
Rebecca Rossen
Cherise Smith
Sharon L Strover
Eric Tang
Shirley E Thompson