Why American Studies at Trinity?

You will explore a wide array of scholarly approaches to deepen your understanding of America, from history, policy, and culture, to law, economics, and education. Through texts, images, and sounds, you will delve into a rich, interdisciplinary exploration of the American experience at home and abroad. As a result, you’ll become a sharp critical thinker and skilled researcher who uses a global perspective to deliver an astute analysis of the American experience.

Trinity’s location will enhance your learning — we’re near a rich variety of museums, art institutions, and archives; close to libraries and museums in New Haven, New York, and Boston; and in the heart of Hartford, the one-time home of J.P. Morgan, Mark Twain, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The American Studies program serves as a foundation for professional training (in law, business, medicine, or media) and graduate work (in the humanities or social sciences).

As an American Studies major, you will:

  • Take an in-depth look the dynamics of race, class, gender, and ethnicity as forces that have shaped, and been shaped by, American culture
  • Learn to use culture as a tool to engage, analyze, and critique historical narratives and contemporary events
  • Develop critical and analytical skills in reading, writing, oral communication, and independent research
  • Learn to use a variety of methods through archival, transnational, spatial, and public humanities approaches
  • Examine the longstanding question “What does it mean to be an American?,” and work both within and beyond national borders to comprehend American cultures, societies, institutions, and values
  • Develop a framework of knowledge—historical, literary, and cultural—on which to build interpretation and understanding
  • Learn to apply conceptual frameworks about cultural and historical analysis to your lived experience and practice
  • Learn how to locate and evaluate primary source materials and secondary texts
  • Demonstrate the ability to explain the complex meaning and significance of a text and formulate an argument supported by evidence
  • Study a broad spectrum of topics, from technology and globalization to civil rights and war
  • Benefit from the intimate size of the program, which fosters close intellectual and personal contact between students and faculty
  • Develop effective oral communication and conversation, while demonstrating the ability to listen carefully, respond to comments from others, and deliver engaging presentations
  • Participate in pioneering research that is both local and global
  • Learn from nationally renowned, award-winning faculty members dedicated to American Studies, as well as from skilled postdoctoral fellows and visiting faculty
  • Experience a program noted for pioneering research, locally and globally
  • Have the opportunity to study abroad

You will gain first-hand experience exploring the outstanding—and in many cases, living—Hartford-area resources of relevance to American Studies majors, including: