The first event, Awakening Our Democracy: The "American" Dream, Immigration, and Belonging  will take place on October 8, 2015 from 12:00 - 1:30pm in Pulitzer Hall, Room 300

Click here for American Studies Fall 2015 Courses


The Center for American Studies is committed to civic education and engagement with the community at large.  In partnership with the Double Discovery Center, American Studies sponsors the Freedom and Citizenship program, which introduces high school students to college-level work in the humanities, places their experiences as twenty first-century New Yorkers in a historical conversation dating back to the ancient world, and prepares them for lives as active, responsible citizens.

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The Center for American Studies enjoys the support of a Board of Visitors. For information about the board's members, CLICK HERE.



"America's Prisons: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?"
October 14, 2014

A discussion with
Robert Ferguson, Professor, Columbia Law School and author of Inferno:An Anatomy of American Punishment
Cathleen Price, Equal Justice Initiative
Benjamin Rosenberg, Office of the NY County District Attorney

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"Where is American Literature?"
November 8, 2013

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"Conscience Tolerable and Intolerable"
October 24, 2013

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"Beard at 100"
October 14, 2013

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On May 13, 2015, the Center for American Studies honored graduating CC seniors Jeremy Budd, Erica Getto, and David Salazar with 2015 James P. Shenton Prizes for service to the community.

Left to right: Professor Casey Blake, Erica Getto (CC'15), David Salazar (CC'15), and Jeremy Budd (CC'15)

Caitlin Lowell (CC'15) received the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2015 Women's Studies Prize. Click here to read an interview with Caitlin about her American Studies thesis and plans for the future.

The Center for American Studies is proud to announce that Erica Getto (CC '15) has been awarded the Innovation & Enhancement Award from the King’s Crown Leadership Excellence Award Committee. The award honors those students who have created, improved, or enhanced a service, program, or process that contributes positively to the Columbia campus and its diverse stakeholders. Erica has served as an undergraduate Teaching Fellow in the Freedom and Citizenship program, helping seniors at the Double Discovery Center prepare for college.

Tamara Mann Tweel testified before congress about the Freedom and Citizenship Program on Wednesday, March 18th. 

Roger Lehecka ('67CC, '74GSAS) has been awarded the 2015 Black Alumni Heritage Award by the Black Alumni Council of Columbia. Lehecka, former Dean of Students in Columbia College, teaches a seminar every year on "Equity and Access in Higher Education" -- one of the key offerings in our curriculum. Award ceremony and reception to be held on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from 7-9 pm. Click here for details.

Left to right: Kevin Matthews '80CC, Lloyd Brown III '15CC, Roger Lehecka '67CC, '74GSAS, and Lloyd Brown II '85CC

Tamara Mann Tweel, the John Strassburger Fellow in American Studies, publishes an article for Inside Higher Ed about the Freedom and Citizenship Program and the value of an "intimate education."

Eurozine interviews David Marcus, Center advisor and co-editor of Dissent magazine. Read the transcript here.

Watch the video of the "America's Prisons: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?" event that the Center for American Studies hosted in Columbia's Butler Library on October 14.

New York Times profiles the Freedom and Citizenship Program

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The Center for American Studies offers students the opportunity to explore the experience and values of the people of the United States as embodied in their history, literature, politics, art, and other enduring forms of cultural expression. American Studies takes advantage of our location in New York by involving students with the life of the city, working with community service organizations such as the Double Discovery Center, and by inviting leading figures on the New York political and cultural scene to participate in colloquia, public conferences, and in the classroom. The Center seeks to prepare students to confront with historical awareness the pressing problems that face our society.

American Studies offers an interdisciplinary, seminar-based curriculum designed to be open and flexible while preparing students for a life of responsible citizenship.  Each major and concentrator works closely with an advisor through graduation.  If you want the experience of crafting your own course of study, as well as the personal attention that comes from a small program, you should consider American Studies.


Andrew Delbanco
Director, Center for American Studies


The Center for American Studies at Columbia University
1130 Amsterdam Avenue, MC 2810
319-321 Hamilton Hall
New York, NY 10027| 212-854-6698