Rollins Announces New Major and Minor in American Studies

The American Studies Program explores the complexity and diversity of this nation.

The Rollins College of Arts & Sciences will offer a new major and minor in American studies, as part of its liberal arts curriculum beginning fall 2013.

Under the direction of Assistant Professor of English Paul Reich ’97, this new program encourages students to use a variety of academic disciplines and perspectives to analyze the interplay of race, regional identity, politics, capitalism, globalization, and popular culture in developing an American identity. Exploring this nation’s history, literature, and culture, along with how ideas, discourse, and events shape American culture, this area of study aligns with the College’s mission of producing global citizens and responsible leaders.

According to Claire Strom, Rapetti-Trunzo professor of history, “This new major provides an exciting opportunity for both our international and American students to explore the history, culture, and politics of the United States in an interdisciplinary fashion. It will provide them with a comprehensive understanding of this world power, an essential attribute in their path to becoming global citizens.”

Courses throughout the American studies are designed to help students develop critical thinking and writing skills, which are sought by employers in a variety of fields. Core program courses can include U.S. from 1877, Poverty and Social Welfare, State of Black America, History of American Sexuality, and American Constitutional Law.

“I'm most pleased that the American Studies Program includes course offerings from close to a dozen different departments on campus,” Reich says. “Majors and minors will examine American culture and society from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives. In the process, they will develop skills that will enhance their life long after completing their time at Rollins. “

Having a major or minor in American Studies positions students for careers in business, law, medicine, or philanthropy. The interdisciplinary nature of the American Studies Program embodies one of the strongest traditions of a liberal arts education, helping students develop a holistic, wide-ranging way of thinking and expression that is increasingly valued by graduate schools and employers.

For more information on the new major and minor in American studies at Rollins, please contact program director Paul Reich at 407.691.1273 or