American Studies Program
811 Anderson Hall

1114 Polett Walk
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Phone: 215.204.1644

Chair, English:  
Joyce A. Joyce

Stephanie M. Morawski

Faculty Advisor
Gabriel Wettach








Look under the courses tab for some great new classes.

Miles Orvell's new book, Main Street: Myth, Memory, and the Dream of Community, will be published in 2012; an essay by Professor Orvell on the Farm Securtiy Administration will appear in 2012.

Professor Orvell was named one of Temple's Great Teachers in 2011.

In 2010, Wiley-Blackwell published two books by Phil Yannella: American Literature in Context from 1865 to 1929 and American Literature in Context after 1929.

Seth C. Bruggeman's recent publications include an edited volume of essays concerning birth and commemoration in the United States and articles that explore, among other topics, interpretive challenges in modern prison museums and the confluence of memory, architecture, and river commerce in the antebellum South. Bruggeman also directs Temple's Center for Public History, which supports a variety of community engagement projects throughout Philadelphia including a recent effort to support preservation of the endangered USSOlympia.

  With Temple’s General Education Program, Ken Finkel co-produces the annual Philadelphia Experience (PEX) Passport, now in its third edition. At the Temple Gallery, Finkel recently moderated a panel discussion entitled "Looking at Philadelphia" with a sociologist, an artist, and an urban farmer. Finkel will interview photographer Vincent Feldman about his "City Abandoned" series at the Paley Library Lecture Hall on March 13, 2012.  Read his weekly blog posts at





Who We Are &
What Our Students Do


American Studies explores patterns and connections in US life. We look at the big themes, such as labor, mobility, migration, art, place, race, gender, and play. In the courses on social change, art, and work, for instance, we look at how Americans think, talk and express ideas in song, stories, and photographs. American Studies considers how these and other themes contribute to individual, family and community life.  American Studies offers a lively way of understanding ever-changing and always contested values,

looking at the politics of American culture through a variety of lenses.

American Studies stresses the development of advanced-level reading, writing, and analytical skills that are necessary for successful careers in various fields. Over our forty-year history, people who have majored or minored in American Studies have gone on to business, medical, law, journalism, museum, civic, teaching, and publishing careers.

People continue to write back to us about how valuable their American Studies educations have proven to be, testifying about how the knowledge and skills they learned with our faculty readily transferred into their careers. Lynsey Graeff, who graduated in 2012, summarized her American Studies experience:

The Program offered "diverse, engaging courses and [an]      accomplished faculty that was wholly dedicated to the success of students. I finished each course inspired by the content and motivated to continue delving into the topics. During my History of Photography course, I bought my first camera. After learning about the plight of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, I took a trip to the Big Easy to discover more about the city's rich culture and witness first-hand their resilience and devotion to rebuilding. In Queer American History and Ideal America, I gleaned more and more about institutionalized inequality and emerged from these courses resolved to fight against sexist, racist, classist, and homophobic tendencies and policies in American society. This fall, I will be a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia where I will devote at least two years to undoing some of the damage of inequality by helping bridge the Achievement Gap that exists in low-income schools."