American Studies

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Amish quilts

Not just the Amish

From the Christmas tree to hex signs, the Easter bunny to Groundhog Day, Pennsylvania Germans, have had a profound effect on American culture. Among the earliest American settlers, they still abide as an American folk group. Penn State folklorist and historian Simon Bronner recently spoke with us about current directions in the study of this distinctive culture.

First graduates praise integrated American studies program

The integrated undergraduate/graduate degree program (IUG) in American studies, introduced by the School of Humanities in 2011, offers students the opportunity to complete an accelerated master’s degree in addition to a bachelor’s degree in American studies in five years.
Ladies on Chicken Bone Beach

A history discovered: Chicken Bone Beach

Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks, a graduate student in Penn State Harrisburg’s American studies program, thought she would do her thesis on the history of hip-hop. But a chance sighting of black-and-white photos in a Philadelphia gallery window in 2014 would eventually change her mind and open up to her a world during the 1930s to 1960s in which African-Americans ruled a section of Atlantic City beach, known as “Chicken Bone Beach.”
Women posing on Chicken Bone Beach

History Discovered

Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks, a graduate student in Penn State Harrisburg’s American studies program, thought she would do her thesis on the history of hip-hop.

Dr. Simon Bronner (right) and Dr. Peter Idowu, assistant dean for graduate studies (left), at the NAGS award ceremony

Bronner receives graduate teaching award

Dr. Simon Bronner, Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore at Penn State Harrisburg, received the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.