American Studies has long been a home for adventurous students seeking to understand the culture and politics of the United States. This welcoming spirit has found appeal around the world, but at the heart of the field is an identity crisis. Nearly every effort to articulate an American Studies methodology has been rejected for fear of losing intellectual flexibility and freedom. But what if these fears are misplaced? Providing a fresh look at American Studies in practice, this book contends that a shared set of “rules” can offer a springboard to creativity.

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Ideal for classroom use, American Studies: A User’s Guide:

  • Introduces students to the history and methods of this exciting and interdisciplinary field
  • Teaches students strategies for interpretation, curation, analysis, and theory
  • Provides a set of how-to’s—such as how-to understand cultural practice; how-to research and use archives—via “Toolkits”
  • Presents curated “Mixtapes” of scholarly literature in the field

“This book fills a long-felt need for a single work that can be used as a touchstone and launching pad for students of American studies at all levels. Deloria and Olson do a superb job of conveying the pleasure and the stakes of working in this field as well as the craft skills required to do it well.”—Carlo Rotella, Boston College

“A very smart and playful hybrid of a book that captures the challenges and rewards of work in American Studies.”—Ann Fabian, Rutgers University

“This book crackles with insight, wit, conceptual range, and analytical precision. Students will learn what American studies is and how to model and perform its methods.”—Ramzi Fawaz, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Exam copies of American Studies can be requested here.

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VitalSource E-Exam Copies:

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  • You’ll have 365 days to review your e-exam copy and do not need to purchase or return it.