- Existence: 1980
The American Studies major was first offered at Tufts in the Fall of 1980. The program was designed to offer students the opportunity "to focus their undergraduate studies on the American experience; to do so from the points of view of several disciplines, including one that is pursued in sufficient depth to gain confidence with its methodology; and to seek connections and integration in the knowledge of the American experience derived from different disciplines with the goal of establishing intellectual coherence." (Tufts University Bulletin, 1980-1981).
As of 2012, the American Studies program "examines the historical, social and cultural underpinnings of what is commonly referred to as the "American experience." The intellectual signature of Tufts' American Studies Program is its emphasis on how the intersecting dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, and gender produce dissimilar "American" experiences for individuals and groups, and how political, economic and social systems shape crucial public domains such as education, health, work and the environment. We are also interested in critical studies of representation in the performing arts, the visual arts, humanities and popular culture. American Studies has also been increasingly concerned with the ways that other countries perceive and interpret the United States, and conversely, how people in the United States perceive and represent their neighbors inside and outside of the Western hemisphere." (American Studies: Main).
- Jesper Rosenmeier, 1980-1983, 1985-1988, 1991-1992
- Barbara Tedlock, 1983-1985
- Saul A. Slapikoff, 1988-1991, 1993-1996
- Carol Houlihan Flynn, 1996-2000
- Eric Rosenberg, 2000-2001
- Frances Sze-Ling Chew, 2001-2007
- Deborah Pacini Hernandez, 2007-2009
- Christina Sharpe, 2009-2013