American Studies has long been a home for adventurous students seeking to understand the culture and politics of the United States. This welcoming spirit has found appeal around the world, but at the heart of the field is an identity crisis. Nearly every effort to articulate an American Studies methodology has been rejected for fear of losing intellectual flexibility and freedom. But what if these fears are misplaced? Providing a fresh look at American Studies in practice, this book contends that a shared set of “rules” can offer a springboard to creativity.
American Studies: A User’s Guide offers readers a critical introduction to the history and methods of the field as well as useful strategies for interpretation, curation, analysis, and theory.
Philip J. Deloria is Professor of History at Harvard University. He is a former president of the American Studies Association.
Alexander I. Olson is Assistant Professor in the Mahurin Honors College at Western Kentucky University.