Director: Brett Mizelle
Department Office: Faculty Offices 2 (FO2), Room 109
Telephone / FAX: (562) 985-4424 / (562) 985-5431
Affiliated Faculty: Elyse M. Blankley (English/Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Patricia A. Cleary (History), Sharon D. Downey (Communication Studies), Linda N. España-Maram (Asian and Asian American Studies), Araceli Esperza (English), J. William Gibson (Sociology), Justin Gomer, George Hart (English), Ann Johnson (Communication Studies), Maulana Karenga (Black Studies), Karen Kleinfelder (Art), Dennis Lopez (English), Eileen Luhr (History), Brett Mizelle (History), Charles Noble (Political Science), Daniel J. O'Connor (Liberal Studies), Carlos R. Piar (Religious Studies), Charles Ponce de Leon (History), Karen Rasmussen (Communication Studies), Maythee Rojas (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Max Rosenkrantz (Philosophy), Anna Sandoval (Chicano and Latino Studies), Sarah Schrank (History), Nancy Strow Sheley (English/Liberal Studies), Craig R. Smith (Communication Studies), Jon R. Stone (Religious Studies), Dean S. Toji (Asian and Asian American Studies), John N. Tsuchida (Asian and Asian American Studies), Frederick Wegener (English), Hugh Wilford (History)
Advertising • Entertainment • Journalism • Management • Marketing • Mass Media (film, radio, television) • Politics • Professional Writing and Editing (creative or technical) • Public Relations • Publishing • Historian • Administrator in Historic and Cultural Preservation • Teacher • Museum Curator • Multimedia Specialist • Preservation and Environmental Law • College Instructor • Environmental Public History Review Specialist • Human Resources Manager • Systems Analysts • Insurance Broker (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see www.careers.csulb.edu.)
American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines American history, life and culture. The work of American Studies takes place both on campuses and in communities. American Studies scholars investigate where the ideals of American democracy are at their finest and where they remain incomplete. We ask key questions like: What is an American? What are the lived experiences of people who inhabit our nation? How do race, class, gender, and sexuality shape these experiences? How do we represent the past and what importance—and limitations—do these representations have? How and why does culture—including popular culture, the arts, and literature—serve as a site of social struggle? How do diverse groups within the Americas imagine their identities and their relation to the United States? What happens when we look at our world(s) from a variety of perspectives?
American Studies is a vital, malleable, and growing academic enterprise, one known for the new questions it has posed, the new perspectives it has brought to the study of the cultures of the United States, and the new information it has introduced into scholarly and public conversations about national identity and experience. Students in this interdisciplinary program play an active role in their own education, working with the program director, teaching faculty, and professional advisors, to design their own plan of inquiry into various aspects of American society and culture.
American Studies majors and minors receive a broad liberal arts education focusing on American culture, traditions, artistic and material production, ideas, identities, and spaces. The major in American Studies offers a solid background for careers in law, journalism, public service, business, and education. The program also provides the foundation for graduate work in American Studies and related fields. In other words, the knowledge and skills our majors acquire prepares them to succeed in just about any field.