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American Studies

American Studies explores the contradictions, paradoxes and realities of American society, history and culture from both a national and international perspective.

Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, December 21 1970.

The emphasis is placed on domestic and foreign politics, as well as the presence of American culture across the globe (Europe).  The United States is a global superpower; militarily, culturally and diplomatically. American society differs fundamentally to that of the Netherlands due to its multiethnic composition and much greater social differentiation.


The research performed by Americanists at the UvA is geared towards the domestic politics of the U.S., its foreign policy and transatlantic relations, and the presence of American culture in Europe and the rest of the world.


American Studies is a special area of interest in the study programme History. After the first year of the Bachelor’s programme, students can choose the specialisation (‘track’) American Studies. As part of the track, students take the course Metropolitan America, which is concluded with a fieldtrip to the city that formed the course subject. Also offered are a minor and Master’s in American Studies. The education is international in character due to the language of instruction (English) and the foreign students who come to Amsterdam to participate in the programme.