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The Program in American Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the histories, literatures, philosophies, music, visual cultures, social formations, economics, and politics of the U.S. Compelling matters of class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, environmentalism, technology, the arts, region, religion, the built environment, citizenship and activism take their proper and vital place in the curriculum of study.

American Studies supports graduate students at Vanderbilt in several ways: it offers a Graduate Certificate program; sponsors a finishing year dissertation fellowship in conjunction with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities; funds two students to attend the “Futures of American Studies Institute” at Dartmouth each summer; and runs a spring conference in conjunction with the American Studies graduate workshop.

Graduate Certificate
Vanderbilt University’s Program in American Studies offers an interdisciplinary graduate certificate. This certificate has been designed to complement students’ disciplinary training, expose them to larger interdisciplinary traditions and academic literatures, and enhance their career options. The American Studies certificate provides graduate students with training across an array of disciplines as well as training in interdisciplinary methodology. The certificate provides students with a valuable professional credential and strengthens their ability to compete for jobs as well as national fellowships and postdoctoral awards.
Dissertation Fellowship
Each year the American Studies program funds a dissertation completion fellowship in conjunction with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. This award is designed to support innovation and excellence in graduate student research in the field of American Studies. The fellowship offers graduate students a service-free year of support to enable full-time work on the dissertation.

The award includes tuition, health insurance, a stipend of $18,000, a research budget of $2,000, and affiliation with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. Fellows will be integrated into the center’s interdisciplinary scholarly community through participation in regular lunches, seminars, and special events. As the capstone of his/her fellowship experience, the fellow will publicly present his/her work to the American Studies community.

Priority will be given to students who have completed the American Studies Graduate Certificate.

Applications should be made directly to the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.

Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth
Each year, the American Studies program sponsors two graduate students to attend the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth. This is a weeklong summer residency program that brings together scholars from a variety of fields and institutions to pursue research and facilitate dialogue on issues related to American Studies as an interdisciplinary field.  The Institute is divided into plenary sessions, which feature current work from Institute faculty, and research seminars, in which all participants present and discuss their own work-in-progress.

The award covers the Institute fee (registration, housing, and seminars), airfare, and a small food allowance.


The HASTAC scholar for the Program in American Studies will assist in populating the Program’s new website, including creating dynamic and interactive content to engage students and faculty as well as alumni. The scholar will have special responsibility for outreach to current graduate students in American Studies-related fields and for developing a social or multimedia forum that can help us determine the future direction of our graduate program.

Graduate Working Group

Introducing the….


Gathering monthly for lunch to exchange ideas and work in progress.First meeting:  Thursday, November 2 at 12:10, Buttrick 135 (in the American Studies Suite).  Lunch will be served!  Several students will be sharing very brief reports on their current research.

To join the email list, rsvp for lunch, or get more information, contact Alex Korsunsky, American Studies HASTAC fellow: