The Department of Transnational Studies


American Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that awards B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. We take a global and hemispheric approach to the study of the Americas, examining local cultures, nations, and regions within their larger geopolitical contexts. Building on our traditional strengths in American Indian studies, critical race theory, feminism, class analysis, and community engagement, we encourage scholarly work on history, politics, visual cultures, literary and oral cultures, environmental and agricultural practices, religions, gender, sexualities, kinship systems, geography, and economics.

We are a vibrant and diverse community of faculty and students committed to rigorous, socially engaged scholarship. Reclaiming the repressed voices, histories, and cultures of marginalized peoples in the Americas has been a central mission of our department since the 1960s. UB American Studies coordinates one of the strongest American Indian studies programs in the United States. In addition, our faculty’s creation and implementation of new technologies for accessing and documenting history has situated us at the forefront of American studies.

Our research strengths include:

  • American Indian, especially Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history, art, and culture

  • Transnational approaches to American studies (from transatlantic slavery to globalization)

  • The Black Atlantic and the African diaspora in the Americas

  • Asia and the Asian diaspora in the Americas

  • Chicana/o, Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American studies

  • Ecological history and restoration in the Americas

  • Canadian studies, including First Nations cultures

  • Oral history and documentary studies

  • Feminist and queer studies

  • Critical race theory

  • Working-class history, immigrant cultures, urban studies

  • Public policy

  • Popular culture

American Studies wishes to express its deep sorrow and grief for the passing of our beloved lecturer of Native American studies, Barry J. White. As one of the forces behind the creation of American studies at UB over 40 years ago, he touched the lives of generations of students and faculty. Barry was also an important leader in Western New York. A resident of the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, he was a Board Member of the Seneca Nation Library Museum and a former Board Member of the N.A.C.S., a Faith Keeper of the Newtown Longhouse, and a member of the Turtle Clan. He will be sorely missed. Click here to learn more about Barry’s life and contributions.