In American Studies, we study the United States – from inside and out – historically and with an eye toward the present. We explore politics and foreign policy, but also the culture that has influenced and reflected the world.
The Master's in American Studies at the University of Amsterdam is a one-year programme, taught entirely in English. We are based in history, but our students come from many disciplines: literature, media studies, cultural studies, sociology, art history and more. Interdisciplinary pollination means our field of inquiry is broad: Moby-Dick and Mickey Mouse, the sentimental novel and the war on terror.
Our approach is international. The US emerged as the dominant global power in the twentieth century, and remains a paradigm of modernity. We study American politics, but also the power of culture. “America”, as dream or nightmare, has been an outsider’s myth as much as a concrete reality. The US looms peculiarly large in contemporary life and media; a deeper understanding of America’s hidden histories is an important asset. That is what American Studies offers: insight into the world we live in, and the world that will confront graduates in future pursuits.
Graduates of American Studies have learned to conduct research with archival and cultural sources, and to write with eloquence and force in English. They are qualified to move on to a PhD, and to work in a range of professional fields. Previous graduates now work in journalism, politics, high school teaching, diplomacy, the civil service, management consulting, publishing, law, media, and even standup comedy.
European views of the United States have long been central to American Studies as an endeavour. Amsterdam was itself a model for progressive American intellectuals a century ago. Today, Amsterdam—where one encounters American-style modernity in a major European cultural center - is an ideal vantage point.
American Studies is an accredited degree programme of History. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in History and the title Master of Arts (MA).
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