Many American Studies majors go on to pursue graduate study in related disciplines.
One recent honors student is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature at UC San Diego; another is pursuing a History Ph.D. at UNC Chapel Hill. Another recent alumna is currently working for the Teach for America program in Hawai'i. As an interdisciplinary major, American Studies offers a high degree of flexibility and provides a broad and attractive range of skills.
Jeanine Navarrete '10
Following my graduation from Wellesley in June 2010, I worked for one year as an assistant on an oral history and exhibition development project at HistoryMiami (formerly the Historical Museum of Southern Florida) that documented the youth experiences of Miami, FL residents from the 1930s to present day. The project allowed me to continue my work on post WWII youth culture and history that I began as an American Studies student at Wellesley, and develop my background in regional history and oral history collection. In the years prior to my position at HistoryMiami, I had also held research internships at the National Museum of American History and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. In August 2011, I enrolled in the M.A./PhD program in U.S. History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My current research examines identity formation and assimilation in the Cuban-American diaspora in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to my coursework, I am a Weiss Fellow at the UNC Graduate School and an apprentice teacher for the introductory history course "The World since 1945."
Emily Zia '10
After (barely) surviving the trials of writing her senior thesis in American Studies, Emily is currently a 2010 corps member with Teach For America, a nonprofit organization that aims to eliminate America's educational achievement gap by sending corps members to underprivileged and struggling schools. She teaches 7th and 8th grade special education in a fully self-contained setting (teaching all subjects to the same students) at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawai'i. Once she finishes her commitment with Teach For America, Emily plans on attending law school, with the goal of working in public policy, perhaps in education or social justice. In between all of the lesson planning and teaching, Emily thinks about Wellesley and how much she misses everything about it--except for the harsh Massachusetts winters.
Anna Weick '12
At Wellesley, I explored methods of reproductive justice and independent media activism in my American Studies senior thesis. In my junior year, I researched lesbian arts activism in the 1970s through an independent study. Following graduation, I first worked in the assisted reproductive technologies field, and now I work with the YWCA of Cambridge, MA, where I support our women's residential housing and shelter programs, organizational communications, fundraisers, and more. At the YWCA Cambridge, I have initiated an ongoing, revolving exhibition of local women artists, and I also assist with a re-launched Cambridge Girls Leadership program founded by City Councilor and former Mayor, Denise Simmons. In my spare time, I serve as an appointed member of the City of Cambridge's GLBT Commission, and I am a correspondent for the community media program, NeighborMedia, of Cambridge Community T.V. My American Studies degree allowed me to combine my passion for grassroots activism with my enthusiasm for community health and media. I am thankful for the brilliant professors and staff who guided me through my American Studies degree and shaped my praxis.
Kerry Knerr '12
After finishing my thesis on popular culture and the Texas Rangers (the fascinatingly racist police force, not the baseball team), I decided to go west, young woman. After several thousand miles of roadtripping, I ended up back in my home state and settled down in Austin, coincidentally around the corner from the Texas Rangers' headquarters. I worked some awful jobs, and then I worked some less awful jobs, and then I got into grad school. I am currently a second year doctoral student in the American Studies department at the University of Texas, where I primarily focus on the intersection of economic history, post-colonial cultural criticism, and food studies. My current project,which initially started in Prof. Grandjean's food studies seminar, focuses on the history of punch and early cocktails as products of American imperial culture; I will be presenting part of this research, "Institutionalizing the Bon Vivant: Reading Empire through Jerry Thomas's Cocktails," at this year's American Studies Association conference in Los Angeles. I also am starting future projects on historical memory in Tex Mex food in the 1930s and a genealogy of tiki culture as an articulation of American modernity. I also work with an organization on campus, Foodways Texas, to plan our annual symposium, which brings together academic researchers, local activists, farmers, chefs, distributors, and marketers from around the state to discuss current topics in Texas food culture. I also have three other jobs, because academia is cheap and Austin is expensive.