American Studies

Administrative Information

Acting Director: Prof. Casey N. Blake, 321 Hamilton; 854-6698;

Associate Director: Prof. Robert Amdur, 311 Hamilton; 854-4049;

Assistant Director: Angela Darling, 319 Hamilton; 854-6698;

Chair, Service Learning Committee: Prof. Casey Blake, 504 Fayerweather; 854-1785;

Chair, Advisory Board: Prof. Robert Amdur, 311 Hamilton; 854-4049;

Program Office: 319-321 Hamilton; 854-6698

Affiliated Faculty

Rachel Adams
     English and Comparative Literature

Casey N. Blake
     History; American Studies

Jeremy Dauber
     Germanic Languages

Andrew Delbanco

Robert A. Ferguson
     English and Comparative Literature; Law

Eric Foner

Todd Gitlin
     Journalism; Sociology

Farah Griffin
     English and Comparative Literature

Alice Kessler-Harris
     American History

Rebecca Kobrin

Roosevelt Montas
     Core Curriculum

Ross Posnock
     English and Comparative Literature

Wayne Proudfoot

Rosalind Rosenberg
     History (Barnard)

Maura Spiegel
     English and Comparative Literature

The American studies program offers students the opportunity to explore the experience and values of the people of the United States as embodied in their history, literature, politics, art, and other enduring forms of cultural expression. The program seeks to prepare students to confront with historical awareness the pressing problems that face our society. The program takes advantage of Columbia's location in New York by involving students with the life of the city—working with community service organizations such as the Double Discovery Center, which serves disadvantaged high school students; and by inviting leading figures on the New York political and cultural scene to participate in colloquia, public conferences, and in the classroom. It is an interdisciplinary program designed to be open and flexible while taking seriously the challenge of striving for a liberal education that helps prepare students for responsible citizenship.


Each American studies major or concentrator is assigned an academic adviser who monitors their progress through graduation. With at least ten advisers for each academic year, students are assured of individual attention and guidance. Advisers meet with students at least twice a semester.

Departmental Honors

Students with a 3.6 minimum GPA in the major and an outstanding senior project are considered for honors. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given year.