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American Studies is an Interdisciplinary Program at Stanford blending courses in history, literature, social sciences and the arts, in which students learn to analyze and interpret America's past and present, forging fresh and creative syntheses along the way.

To hear more from our students, visit "We the People" -- a blog for undergraduates in American Studies at Stanford.

To learn more, see American Studies Faculty and Students In the News


Recent News

It was 1970 when history professor Gordon Chang, then a new graduate student fresh out of Princeton, walked into Green Library to pore through Leland Stanford’s papers for the first time. Forty-five years later, he is still looking for what he went there that day to find: accounts that would describe the lives of Chinese workers instrumental in the building of the transcontinental railroad. 

An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Chinese worked on the railroad at a


How We Write: The Varieties of Writing Experience is based on the series of “How I Write” public conversations with faculty and other advanced writers conducted by Hilton Obenzinger at Stanford University since 2002. These conversations explored the nuts and bolts, pleasures and pains, of all types of writing with prominent novelists, poets, historians, physicists, critics, playwrights, philosophers, anthropologists and neuroscientists. How do writers get ideas? How do they...

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University announces a rare exhibition of 12 drawings by acclaimed ledger artist Red Horse, a Minneconjou Lakota Sioux warrior who fought against George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876.

The latest issue of the American Studies Newsletter is out!  Find out what's been happening in the Program and what our alumni have been doing!  

Download the latest newsletter HERE!

Stanford political scientist Amy Zegart says the U.S. Senate's 2014 summary report on alleged CIA torture and interrogation during the "war on terror" contains errors and weaknesses that only served to weaken its ultimate influence.

One might not expect a book by an English scholar to stir in its readers an impetuous desire to drop everything and take a road trip.

But a new atlas of American letters by Shelley Fisher Fishkin, professor of English and director of the American Studies Program at Stanford, should see many people throwing a stack of novels in the backseat and hitting the highway.