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It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the American Studies Undergraduate Program. Our department boasts of some of the most exciting and esteemed faculty members and courses offered at the University of Minnesota. In an American Studies classroom, you can expect to engage questions about culture, race, gender, sexuality, and globalization. You can also assume that you will unpack these complex issues and processes through a variety of media—film, music, literature, history, and art. Moreover, because our faculty members come from several different disciplines, we teach our students to approach course objectives from many scholarly vantage points.
Thinking with that kind of skillfulness is more important today than ever before. In our department, we have tried to adapt to a world that presents information in diverse venues (tv, movies, newscasts, texts, newspapers) by making sure that our students have the skills to critically analyze knowledge from a range of locations, giving students the tools to navigate the profundities of an informational society. We are convinced that equipping students to navigate a global world means teaching them to reflect deeply on issues of equity and cultural diversity. As a result of our departmental vision, American Studies majors go on to disseminate the knowledge gained in our classes to a wide array of fields, changing the landscapes of and taken-for-granted assumptions in business, education, art, law, medicine, and politics. Over and over again American Studies majors prove the immeasurable value and awesome applicability of liberal arts training and education. We firmly, stubbornly, believe that giving students the resources to think critically, globally and multiculturally is what a modern university does in order to achieve relevance for the world in which we live.
If this is the world that you want to be a part of and if this is the way that you would like to live in that world, we encourage you to become a part of our undergraduate community.