Studying American Studies at Kenyon

Students of American studies examine the personal side of American life, considering the role of music, art, memory, family and popular culture throughout history. Courses explore African American history, the history of jazz, baseball and American culture, the history of the South, American modernist literature, and museums and memory, among many other topics. Students begin their inquiry with an examination of an artifact — a song, a work of art or a film — and use that as a jumping-off point to explore widening circles of culture.

Collection Collaboration

American studies students can take advantage of the Gund Gallery's extensive collection. One example is "Probing the Land I" by Nate Lewis (2019, hand sculpted paper inkjet print and india ink, 26 x 40 inches. Collection of the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College; Gund Gallery Collection purchase).

The Senior Capstone

It's a culmination. It's a leap to a new level of mastery. It's a chance to take everything you've learned and apply it to a project that really compels you. Here's a sampling of recent Senior Capstone presentations in American Studies.

  • "Ain't Nuthin' But A She Thing:" Female Resistance Through '90's Hip-Hop Music
  • Living the Dream: Reimagining Life in Two Appalachian Neighborhoods
  • Shaping the Narrative: Understanding Images, Words & Social Change Through the Eyes of Gordon Parks
  • Haunting the Docks: Deindustrialization and Great Lakes Ghost Towns
  • Little Brother of War: Lacrosse, the Iroquois Nationals, and Sovereignty
  • Teaching Rhetorical Sovereignty to Fifth Graders
  • Reagan, Rap and Resistance
  • Standards of History: Exploring Democratic Narratives in Ohio U.S. History Textbooks
Phone Number
Email Address
American Studies 
O'Connor House 
Kenyon College
Gambier, Ohio 43022