Wherever you look these days, America is plastered across our screens in some shape or form whether it is in the form of Trump idiocy, the brink of nuclear war or crazy weather. We live in a time where America is centre stage and, whether we like it or not, impacts our everyday lives in innumerable ways. For this reason, a degree which can at times be sneered at or questioned by those ignorant of its nature and content, American Studies is more important and relevant than ever. As American Studies students we study the history of this large and diverse nation, we are able to see patterns in history and politics through our learning and research, we are able to explore the ways in which American society functions and develops. We study racism throughout American history and are able to look at society today and ask how much has changed?
Our study of America from a distance, in England, and in America itself allows us to compare the nations and their ways of life, we can adopt a critical perspective from both the outside and the inside as we are given the opportunity to study in America. When we take a further step back however, it is clear we possess the ability to critically assess other nations, ways of life, and, in fact, almost anything, with a well-rounded and balanced mind-set. I promise this post is not in any way trying to endorse American Studies as a degree, it is the result of a discussion I had with my mum a few weeks ago about how a degree I once took interest in for its uniqueness has now taken on a new level of relevance and importance beyond what I previously expected.