Affiliated Programs and Departments
Since the founding of MSU’s Program in American Studies in 1967, there has been a great deal of collaboration between AMS and the History Department. The American Studies Advisory Board and the program’s affiliated faculty include many members of the History Department. Graduate students in the American Studies program are encouraged to obtain a strong grounding in U.S. history through their coursework and comprehensive exams. Most AMS students take graduate seminars offered by the History Department and create guidance committees with faculty members from History. Many American Studies dissertations are strongly historical in character.
Michigan State University’s Jewish Studies Program focuses on the two centers of contemporary Jewish life, the United States and Israel. What was once central in Jewish life, Europe, has in the past century become peripheral, while the U.S. and Israel, once peripheral, have become central. Affiliated faculty in four colleges at MSU provide 25 undergraduate courses in Jewish Studies annually, and the program regularly schedules public events on Jewish themes with emphases on American Jewish life and culture, Israeli life and culture, Yiddishkeit, and the Holocaust. American Jewish history is taught annually by history faculty, as is a course on American Jewish culture.
Although it is primarily dedicated to undergraduate education and community outreach, Jewish Studies has also been involved in graduate education. In the history department, faculty affiliated with Jewish Studies have advised graduate students on dissertation subjects as disparate as American Southern Jewish women in the nineteenth century and the psychiatric community in Austria before the Nazi onslaught. History department members affiliated with Jewish Studies are: Kirsten Fermaglich, Peter Levine (emeritus), Keely Stauter-Halsted, and Kenneth Waltzer.