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What We Study

Research in American Studies

In the American Studies program, we study the Americas - particularly the Americas as they relate to the United States. Why are Americans the way we are? How did we get this way? What does this mean for our future?

Our research is interdisciplinary: our faculty hold joint appointments in Anthropology, Art & Art History, Education, English, Government, and History.  We have expertise in interdisciplinary research methods, including

  • literary analysis,
  • visual cultural analysis,
  • oral and archival history,
  • community collaboration,
  • digital humanities techniques,
  • ethnography,
  • archaeology, and
  • other qualitative and quantitative research methods. 

Many of our faculty members are dedicated to research projects that engage local communities. Graduate students conduct original research that can make a real-world impact. Undergraduates may take part in these projects, or conduct projects of their own


The American Studies Program enjoys the benefits of collaboration with research centers at William & Mary such as the Institute of Early American History and Culture, and The National Institute of American History and Democracy. We also maintain close ties with local institutions of public history and culture, including Colonial Williamsburg, the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, and the National Park Service.