American Studies has long been a home for adventurous students seeking to understand the culture and politics of the United States. Despite being taught in universities around the world, American Studies has resisted developing a coherent methodology for fear of losing the flexibility and freedom to imagine new avenues of thought. But what if these fears are misplaced? Through a fresh look at the origins of the field, this book contends that a shared set of “rules” can offer a springboard to creativity. American Studies: A User’s Guide offers readers a critical introduction to the history and methods of the field, useful strategies for interpretation, curation, analysis, and theory, and case studies of American Studies in practice.
Philip J. Deloria is Professor of American Culture and History and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of Michigan. He is the former Director of the Program in American Culture there, and former President of the American Studies Association nationally. He is the author of Indians in Unexpected Places and Playing Indian andcoeditor of A Companion to Native American History.
Alexander I. Olson is Assistant Professor of American Studies and History at Western Kentucky University.