Q. What is American Studies?
A. American Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the culture, history, and society of the United States. Although the field is almost 100 years old, in Romania it is relatively new because the communist regime did not encourage the study of the US. Shortly after 1989, this academic discipline finally took root in Romania with the pioneering program at the University of Bucharest. We started with an MA program in 1996, and shortly after our undergraduate program took off, and it is still the most successful in the country.
Q. How is an American Studies major program different from an English major?
A. English is the teaching language of both these programs. The difference is that “English major” is a more traditional philological program (where you follow three main fields of study: English literature, linguistics, and civilization), whereas “American Studies” is an interdisciplinary cultural studies program (where you study not only literature, linguistics, and civilization, but also media studies, studies of race and ethnicity, visual culture, popular culture, American history and politics, Native-American studies, African-American studies etc.).
Q. What kind of subjects are we going to study?
A. Since this is an interdisciplinary program, it follows that you will be studying a lot of exciting interrelated disciplines, such as (to name but a few subjects) American film studies, American literature, American civilization, media studies, studies of race and ethnicity, visual culture, popular culture, American history and politics, Native-American studies, African-American studies and a lot of other very exciting things!
Q. Is American Studies a separate department in the Faculty of Foreign Languages?
A. No, American Studies is a Program which belongs to the English Department. Our professors teach both in the American Studies Program and in the English Department. The vast majority of our professors have benefited from Fulbright scholarships to the United States.
Q. How will I be improving my English language skills in an American Studies program?
A. You will have four hours of English language practice a week during your first two years (and two a week during your third year), just like all the other English major students. During these classes you will be doing a lot of translations, you will improve your vocabulary, grammar, academic writing and speaking. Also, our program benefits from the same linguistics classes as Applied Modern Languages students, taught by our colleagues from the English Department.