Four Themes — What We Study
American Studies at Brown is concerned with four broad themes:
- Social Structures and the Practices of Identity: How do communities and individuals come to define themselves, and how do others define them, in terms of, among other categories, nation, region, class, race, ethnicity, gender, sex, religion, age and sexuality? How do organizations and institutions function socially and culturally? What are the roles of social movements, economic structures, politics and government?
- Space and Place: How is space organized, and how do people make place? This includes the study of natural and built environments; local, regional, national and transnational communities; and international and inter-regional flows of people, goods, and ideas.
- Production and Consumption of Culture: How do people represent their experiences and ideas as culture? How is culture transmitted, appropriated and consumed? What is the role of artists and the expressive arts, including literature, visual arts and performance.
- Science, Technology, and Everyday Life: How does work and the deployment of science and technology shape American culture? How do everyday social practices of work, leisure and consumption provide agency for people?