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What can you do with a degree in American Studies?

What Can You Do With a Stanford Degree in American Studies?  

Here’s what some of our alumni are doing….

Law Professor, UCLA *Documentary Filmmaker *Museum Exhibit Planner *CEO of Dallas Morning News * Editor-In-Chief, Politico * Clinical Psychologist *Dean of Yale College *Healthcare Policy Analyst * Staff Reporter, Forbes  *Writer for TV  and Film  * Angel Fund Investor * Lawyer * Professor of History, USC * Associate Professor, Dept. of Social Medicine,  UNC-Chapel Hill *  Youth Empowerment Program  Coordinator *  President of  Women’s  Sports Foundation Public DefenderProfessor of  Women’s Studies, Ohio State  * Vice President of  Programs, Aspen Institute *    Editor, Comic Book & Entertainment Company  *  Executive Director of non-profit  organizationTelevision producer * Deputy Attorney General, California  *  Veterinarian *  Advertising Executive * Education Reform Activist in Chile * Nurse  Practitioner *  Professor of African and African American Studies, Yale * Global Marketing Manager  * Deputy Section Chief, National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration, Office of the General CounselProfessional Soccer Player  * Corporate Counsel, Omidyar Network * Product Manager, Google * Prosecutor for U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Mexico * Structured Product Associate, Morgan Stanley  * Peace Corps Volunteer  * Director of Equity Management * FosterEd Operations, National Center for Youth Law * Co-Founder, Environmental Consulting Company * Assistant Director, Women’s Community Center *  Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies, U. of Oregon * Superintendent of Cairo American College, Egypt *  Editor-In-Chief AllVoices *

Spotlight on... AMSTUD Graduates!

Mark S. Weiner, Class of 1989

Professor of Law, Rutgers University

You could draw a straight line between my career in American Studies at Stanford and what I’m doing today—or, rather, you could draw about a dozen straight lines!

Back at Stanford, I was always interested in constitutional and political questions, and a course from Prof. Lawrence Friedman got me thinking that I could make a career in the field. In time, I received both a doctorate in American Studies and a law degree from Yale, and I taught constitutional law and legal history at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, New Jersey for about twelve years. Encouraged by my thesis advisor, Prof. Richard Gillam, I had always aspired to write non-fiction that crossed over between academic and popular audiences. In time I wrote three books, two of them for commercial publishers—Knopf and Farrar, Straus and Giroux—the two publishers I most admired as an undergraduate. During the summer of my junior year, I was introduced to museum studies through an internship at the Smithsonian Institution, thanks to Prof. Joe Corn. Today, I’m working with a co-curator on a exciting exhibition about illustrated law books from the thirteenth century to the present for the Grolier Club in Manhattan. At Stanford, I had always hoped to live abroad, but I never quite found the time to study overseas. Since then, I’ve had the chance to live and teach about the United States as a Fulbright fellow in northern Iceland and Salzburg, Austria.

A few years back, I pivoted. With the help of an academic prize that came with some financial support, I left Rutgers in all but name to teach myself video production and editing, and I founded a non-profit production company to produce films about humanistic and historical legal topics. Cross fingers, we’re waiting to hear about our first big grant applications!

I live a materially modest but creatively fulfilled life dedicated to the interests I developed as an undergraduate. It’s not always easy—and the challenges are psychological as much as financial. But at Stanford I learned the importance of taking creative risks, while living in a materially sustainable way. That’s always stood me in good stead over the long term.

Click here for Mark Weiner's blog!

Amy Aniobi, Class of 2007


I'm currently a writer/producer on "Insecure" (HBO), which was created by fellow Stanford alum, Issa Rae ('07). I never intended for my American Studies major to lead to writing for television - I just decided to study what I loved. But it wound up being very useful. Writing TV, especially comedy, involves writing about people, society and culture. And as an American Studies major, I was studying culture all the time. Who knew all those college essays would come in handy!

Click here to see Amy Aniobi's IMDB credits!