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American Studies Essay Sample

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American studies examine the American history, culture, and society. It is an interdisciplinary scholarship field also called the American civilization. It incorporates research on literature and critical theory and welcomes analysis methods from some other disciplines. Its concern is the United States. However, in the past decades, it looked at other nations and Americas territories and their interactions across the globe. There is a variety of the courses that one can select. But the ideologies and productions unite them all (Maddox, ed. 1998).

American studies topics include American literature, media, social movements, tourism, intellectual history, and folklore. They look at the American racial and ethnic groups, which many consider independent. Therefore, they will involve American-American, Latin American, Asian-America, American-Indians, etc. Parrington describes it as the ''broad path''. In 1940, Henry Nash Smith received a Ph. D from Harvard. It was from the institution's ''History and American Civilization'' interdisciplinary program.

He set an academic precedent for the American Studies programs. The first methodology was the myth and symbol approach. Smith developed it in his foundational texts like 1950's the Virgin Land. In 1964, Leo Marx's wrote The Machine in the Garden. The scholars claimed that they had found recurring themes in the works that illuminated a unique American culture. Later other professionals re-imagined the method, in the light of the multicultural context. They included Alan Trachtenberg and Annette Kolodny (Pease, eds. 2002).

 

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