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American Studies Department

What Does It Mean to Be “American?”

What does it mean to be American?  Where does America begin and end?  How has diversity shaped American history and culture?  How have conflicts and confluences produced cultures and cultural forms that are recognizably “American”?  Where does the United States fit within the larger global community?

The American Studies Program at Creighton University encourages students and faculty to engage in a critical fashion these and many other fascinating questions about the “American” experience.  Subjects of inquiry include literature and film, politics and social movements, history and popular culture, race and ethnicity, sports and gender, philosophy and religion.  The list could go on and on, incorporating even more specific topics like jazz, hip hop and performance art, baseball and boxing, the American Revolution and Apocalypse Now, museums and mega churches, Moby Dick and Beloved.  American Studies is more than a collection of distinct disciplines and diverse topics, however.

American Studies at Creighton is interdisciplinary, comparative, transnational, and theoretical.  We use the critical perspectives and theoretical insights of many disciplines to investigate challenging problems of cultural interpretation.  We examine topics in their comparative and transnational contexts, taking into account the ways peoples and cultures cross all kinds of social and political borders.

We invite you to explore with us the American experience in all its diversity.  You will join a community of inquiry that will encourage you to pursue your interests and to discover new ones and to use all your critical and creative powers to understand and explain them.