American Studies

  • To better understand urban politics on public housing, students enrolled in Politics 234 visited the former site of Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes on the city’s South Side. Students were able to see first hand the scarcity of resources available to residents of this Chicago community and the new mixed-income developments being built where the projects once stood.

American Studies isn’t simply coursework in American history or literature, it’s an in-depth look at the American experience through the eyes of many people, past and present. Students examine the rich connections between art, economics, anthropology, and philosophy as they relate to the United States.

With Chicago just 30 miles south of Lake Forest, many students and faculty make use of its vast resources. Some take their exploration of race, gender, religion, politics, or the intersections of those fields, down Route 66, to their home states, and into off-campus study programs. What does it mean to be American? Start with a look around the College.

Department News

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    Jessica Null Vealitzek, who graduated from the College with an American Studies major in 1998, is celebrating her debut novel, The Rooms Are Filled (She Writes Press, April 2014) with a launch party and reading on Wednesday, April 16 from 7-9 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Arlington Heights. The book tells the story of “two lost souls [who] come together by circumstance: nine-year-old Michael, a Minnesota farm boy transplanted to suburban Chicago after his father dies, and his proper, young–closeted–teacher, Julia Parnell, a woman trying to begin again after a failed attempt to live openly.”
  • Lecturer in American Studies Elizabeth Marquardt co-authored a Huffington Post politics piece responding to President Obama’s call in his State of the Union to eliminate marriage penalties for low-income Americans.
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