The American Studies Program is designed to heighten critical awareness and appreciation of what is distinctive about American culture. As a self-consciously interdisciplinary program, American studies is the primary site at LVC for courses dealing in women's studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, and media studies. Its curriculum regularly touches on issues of class, gender, ethnicity, and multiculturalism. As a result, most of the required general education courses in cultural diversity studies are listed through the American Studies Program. The program is developing courses that will critically explore the interrelationship of religion and politics in the United States, the impacts of consumerism on the American economy and culture, the distinction between 'pop culture' and 'high culture,' and the importance of the counter-cultural movement in American art, literature, and film.
The American Studies Program draws on faculty from various disciplines and departments from throughout the College, such as religion and philosophy, history and political science, anthropology, art, English, music, and biology. Each class is committed to engendering a culture of participation in which student input and engagement is absolutely essential to the success of the course. Also, the program is known for creating many of the most innovative and experimental courses on campus, such as the team-taught courses on violence and non-violence, and on film and the American identity.
The program offers a minor wherein every class also meets general education requirements. A degree in American studies can lead to a career in teaching, publishing, law, journalism, government, consulting and research, historic preservation, museums, archiving, tourism, or a number of other professions. Many of our graduates also go on to graduate school to earn a master's degree or doctorate in American studies or a related discipline.