American studies invited students to engage critically with the history, culture and society of the United States, past and present.
American studies is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the relationships between historical events, social forces, and various forms of cultural expression. It draws on the materials and methods of disciplines and academic specialties across the humanities and social sciences, making connections between areas of knowledge that are often institutionally separated. Although American studies refers primarily to the geographical region of the United States, recent approaches have emphasized the relationship between the US and other countries and cultures. From its inception in the 1930s, the field of American studies has sought to engage the public about questions of identity, meaning, and power in our collective body politic. In this spirit, American studies at Marlboro emphasized community engagement, offering students the opportunity to integrate academic learning with work in the community and to produce knowledge oriented toward democratic conversation.