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New Exhibition Celebrates Georgetown’s American Studies Program

Magazine cover for American Studies at Georgetown University, showing photos of the Rev. Joseph T. Durkin, S.J.

The Library celebrates the 50th anniversary of Georgetown’s American Studies program with a new exhibition: American Studies: 50 Years of Interdisciplinary Connections. Visit the Kerbs Exhibit Area on the 3rd floor of Lauinger to see the original program proposal, faculty-authored books, thesis topics, student field trips through the years, and more.

Created in 1969, the American Studies Program featured courses from eight departments, a junior colloquium, and a senior seminar and thesis. The first students were required to pursue American Studies as a second major in addition to majoring in a more established field. But students signed up, anyway. As George Keating, one of the Program’s first graduates, wrote, "I realized that American Studies was worth the uncertainty of pursuing a still unofficial major... The next two years confirmed that the risk was well worth taking."

The exhibition is curated by Sherry Linkon, Professor of English and Faculty Director of Writing Curriculum Initiatives and Colva Weissenstein, Program Manager for American Studies, with assistance from Ann Galloway, Assistant University Archivist.