American Studies

American Studies


>>American Studies majors develop wonderful skills in more careful reading, in more careful writing, in their ability to analyze what they’re seeing and reading and hearing. And they learn how to make an argument based on evidence, so their reading skills and their writing skills fold into their ability to make a persuasive argument based on evidence. We think these skills are totally valuable for a wide range of workplaces. Employers that praise liberal arts, education, praise exactly these skills: critical reading and writing and thinking skills, the ability to make a clear argument. And I think also American Studies students learn to participate in discussion, so they also learn oral skills of both presenting their own research and listening with respect and engaging and learning from others in the great diverse classrooms we have here at UMass. Well, our students have gone onto a wide range of careers. Some are teachers, some are journalists and there is still a journalism field in the world today. Some of them have gone into filmmaking, some of them have gone into sort of public humanities, the National Park Service, historical interpretation at the parks or working in various forms of museums. But they’ve also gone into every other field. We have a proud American Studies graduate who’s a firefighter. We have one of our American Studies graduates has her own record company and does arts promotion and is now in the current Mayoral administration in Boston as a, she’s on the liaison team and is now in the Mayor’s policy team. So people, you know, people definitely go into politics. They work for legislators, they work for various companies. But you want to ask our student, Edon, about this, too. So that’s my take. A wide range of nonprofits, social change, social justice work. We’ve got graduates doing all those things. And almost all, we had our “A” quad last year, feeling really good about what the American Studies major prepared them to do. That they’ve taken it in so many different directions.>>Awesome. And I guess briefly, if you wouldn’t mind, what drew you to the field?>>I love history. I love the history of science and technology, especially American achievement and I studied that in America. Also, I’m interested in university administration and research and this has allowed me to do a great amount of research, work writing as well throughout the entirety of it, which helps during my job applications, which I’m doing right now. Always fun.

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