The Department of American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill is a diverse community of faculty and students united in their intellectual passion for the many Americas—historical, social, political and cultural, actual and imaginary—whose power and influence extend across the global from the scenes of their unfolding on the North American continent. The heart of American Studies is interdisciplinary, the intellectual catalyst for creative and ethical participation in a free society. With a curriculum that embraces international as well as national, hemispheric, regional, ethnic and ethnographic perspectives, we offer five concentrations to undergraduate and graduate students: American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Folklore, Global American Studies, Southern Studies and Digital American Studies.


Robert Allen, a specialist in film, television, theater, media and theory
Gabrielle A. Berlinger, a folklorist with interests in the Jewish expressive cultures, museum anthropology, material culture, public folklore and place-making
Daniel Cobb, a specialist in American Indian & Indigenous Studies, with a focus on history, politics and activism
Elizabeth Engelhardt, with strengths in gender studies, American literature, foodways, and the Appalachian south
Marcie Ferris, a specialist in the Jewish south, southern studies, material culture, and foodways
Ben Frey,
a sociolinguist with a focus on the Cherokee language and language shifts
Bernard L. Herman,
a folklorist with a background in material culture, vernacular architecture, self-taught and vernacular art, foodways, and sustainable economic development
Glenn Hinson, a folklorist committed to broad public engagement, whose focus is public folklore, ethnography, and the poetic, musical worlds of African-America
Sharon P. Holland,
a scholar of African-American intellectual histories, cultures of dissent, race, sexuality and feminist theory
Seth Kotch,
a scholar of the modern American south, focusing on the criminal justice system
Tim Marr,
an interdisciplinary cultural historian and Melville scholar with a keen interest in the Muslim world
Keith Richotte,
a specialist in Indian law and policy, constitutionalism and legal history
Michelle Robinson,
an American Studies scholar with a focus on popular culture, film, literature and U.S. religious history
Patricia Sawin,
a folklorist with expertise in narrative, discourse, festival and cultures of adoption
Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote,
a specialist in U.S. and American Indian history and American Indian expressive culture
Rachel Willis,
an economist who does research on global access to work through collaborative engaged scholarship, with a focus on freight transportation planning and infrastructure for climate change in port cities

The Department offers an M.A. in Folklore and a Ph.D. in American Studies. Learn more here.