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American Studies

The American Studies major at Roger Williams University is an interdisciplinary major constructed from courses offered by American Studies specialists and courses on aspects of American culture offered by the faculties of a variety of other departments, including English, Political Science, Music and Historic Preservation. Students will focus on the regional and sub-cultural diversity of the United States, while at the same time exploring the shared history and values of the nation.

As an American Studies major, you will formulate your own flexible program of study in consultation with an American Studies advisor. Among the American Studies courses are offerings in areas such as regional studies (New England, Urban America, Southwestern Cultures), intellectual studies (Education in American Culture, Varieties of Religious Experience, American Mind) studies of specific groups within the American population (Experiences of Race, Culture and Gender; Class and Culture; Ethnic Cultures) and studies in popular culture (movies, television).

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. To teach students to locate, analyze, and interpret a variety of resources with logic, clarity, and efficiency.
  2. To teach students to recognize and respect the legitimacy of a variety of academic disciplines.
  3. To offer students practice in selecting interpretive tools and strategies most appropriate to the tasks which they define for themselves.
  4. To help students develop a sophisticated appreciation of the complexities and ambiguities in the culture, and to resist the temptation to settle for simplistic and pat solutions to complex problems.
  5. To connect students to the American tradition of global and transnational heritage, and to recognize and appreciate diversity in all categories of identity.
  6. To encourage students to develop their rhetorical skills: to write and speak confidently and persuasively.
Michael R.H. Swanson, Ph.D.
Professor of American Studies
B.A. North Park College, M.A., Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University
Contact Information
x3230
GHH 215
Areas of Expertise: 
American studies, material culture, urbanism, progressive movements, building and neighborhood conservation

Michael R.H. Swanson

Michael R.H.
Swanson
Ph.D.
Professor of American Studies
B.A. North Park College, M.A., Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University
Contact Information
x3230
GHH 215
Areas of Expertise: 
American studies, material culture, urbanism, progressive movements, building and neighborhood conservation

For more information about Professor Swanson and his teaching interests, please visit  http://mysyllabi.homestead.com

Jennifer L. Stevens, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of American Studies/US History
B.A. Carleton College, M.A.T. National-Louis University, M.A. Bowling Green State University, Ph.D. Michigan State University
Contact Information
x5698
GHH 217
Areas of Expertise: 
American cultural studies; 20th century United States History

Jennifer L. Stevens

Jennifer L.
Stevens
Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of American Studies/US History
B.A. Carleton College, M.A.T. National-Louis University, M.A. Bowling Green State University, Ph.D. Michigan State University
Contact Information
x5698
GHH 217
Areas of Expertise: 
American cultural studies; 20th century United States History

Background                                                                                                                

Laura D'Amore, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of American Studies
Ph.D. Boston University
View Curriculum Vitae ยป
Contact Information
X3171
GHH 212
Areas of Expertise: 
American culture, gender and sexuality, race, feminism, popular culture

Laura D'Amore

Laura
D'Amore
Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of American Studies
Ph.D. Boston University
sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/damorecv_annotated_0.pdf
Contact Information
X3171
GHH 212
Areas of Expertise: 
American culture, gender and sexuality, race, feminism, popular culture

Laura Mattoon D’Amore is an Assistant Professor of American Studies, and has taught at RWU since 2009.  She received her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies from Boston University, with a dissertation titled “American Supermom: Feminism, Motherhood, and the Superheroine Since 1962.” Dr. D’Amore’s expertise is in the representation of gender and sexuality in American culture and feminism.  She is highly involved in her field, serving as Area Chair at the Film and History national conference for several years; presenting scholarly papers regularly at the Popular Culture/American Culture Association and National Women’s Studies Association conferences; and serving as chair of the conference committee for “The Equal Rights Amendment in the 21st Century,” held at RWU in November 2013.