The American studies major gives students the opportunity to apply the methods and learning of several disciplines to the study of American culture and society. It draws upon the resources of many departments and programs to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the United States. In the junior and senior seminars, majors work to integrate their knowledge and to master a variety of methodological approaches to American studies.
Trinity's American Studies Program derives its excellence from its faculty of distinguished professors, many of whom enjoy national reputations and all of whom are active scholars. Engaged and enthusiastic, they enjoy working with students whether in or outside of the classroom. The pedagogical goal of the program is to develop critical skills in writing, thinking, and conversation, skills that will serve students well whatever their career plans.
The core faculty include Director Louis Masur, Kenan Professor of American Institutions and Values, who has written books on various topics in American cultural history. Dana Professor of History Joan Hedrick won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for her book Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life. Smith Professor of Literature Paul Lauter is a former president of the American Studies Association and the author of many works, including the most comprehensive multicultural anthology of American literature ever published. Raether Professor Cheryl Greenberg has published works on African American and modern American history. Professor Eugene Leach is a founder of the American Studies Program at Trinity College and specializes in United States history in the late 19th and early 20th century. Assistant Professors Scott Tang works on race, ethnicity, and urban history in 20th century America, Diana Paulin focuses on African-American literature and culture, Scott Gac has written about the Hutchinson family singers and 19th century reform, and Chris Hager works on 19th century American literature.