Effron Center for the Study of America

Overview

The Effron Center for the Study of America works to fulfill Princeton’s institutional vision by offering curricula, supporting research and hosting discussions on the evolving experiences and identities of the peoples of the territories known as America.

The center endeavors to provide spaces for critical analysis guided by principles of civil rights, freedom, social justice and activism; spaces for intellectual discussions that produce transformative agendas based on ethical research.


The Program in American Studies began as the Program in American Civilization in 1942 and was the University’s first interdepartmental course of study. From its inception, the program inspired new courses, art exhibits and public discussion responsive to urgent topics of the day. In the fall of 2021, the Effron Center for the Study of America was launched and now includes the Programs in American Studies, Asian American Studies and Latino Studies and also encompasses American Jewish Studies and Indigenous Studies. We imagine the future study of (the) America(s) at Princeton to be intersectional, internationalized and collaborative, partnering scholars across disciplines to intertwine with the many strands of intellectual and civic life across campus.

Program Offerings

The Effron Center hosts a certificate program in American studiesand two minor courses of study in Asian American studies, and Latino studies. In addition, the center supports interdepartmental faculty initiatives which bring new areas of research focus to Princeton and create forums for conversations and collaboration between disciplines.

The center’s faculty draw on disciplinary expertise in anthropology, art history, literature, performance studies, sociology, theater and music theater and more, with research interests including transnational religion; ecology and environmental narrative; Native American and Indigenous studies; and economic and cultural history.

By exploring and relating issues raised separately by the humanities, arts, and social and natural sciences, and by engaging with a wide range of scholarly methods and theories, the Effron Center aims to create a generative space for new understandings of issues that profoundly affect contemporary lives and scholarship.

Additional Information

Public Events, Distinguished Fellows

Public programming hosted by the Effron Center and its programs fosters discussion across areas of study encompassed by the center’s academic programs and initiatives.

Annually, on or around September 17, the Effron Center hosts Princeton’s Constitution Day observance, commemorating the 1787 signing of the United States Constitution and exploring permutations of constitutional law to the present day.

The Effron Center’s Anschutz Distinguished Fellowship brings to Princeton for one semester a leading scholar or practitioner in American arts, letters, politics or commerce to teach a seminar, deliver a public lecture and join in the life of the center. Past fellows include Emmy- and Peabody Award–winning filmmaker Sheila Curran Bernard in 2005, Academy Award–winning producer Gerardine Wurzburg, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Tim Weiner in 2015 and scholar of gender and Africana studies Brittney Cooper in 2019.

Student Support

The Effron Center offers grants to undergraduate students to support thesis research, off-campus projects and student group activities, and to graduate students to support dissertation research and presentation of papers at national and international academic conferences.

The center’s long history of supporting interdisciplinary graduate student initiatives, including the Asian American Faculty-Graduate Reading Group and the Princeton American Indian and Indigenous Studies Working Group, has enabled students to present programming ranging from book discussions and gallery visits to public lectures and conferences.

For more information, please visit the Effron Center for the Study of America website.

Faculty

  • Director

    • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
  • Associate Director

    • Patricia Fernández-Kelly
  • Executive Committee

    • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, Effron Center Study of America
    • Yarimar Bonilla, Effron Center Study of America
    • Allison Carruth, Effron Center Study of America
    • Anne Cheng, English
    • Carolyn Choi, Effron Center Study of America
    • Rachael Z. DeLue, Art and Archaeology
    • Mitchell Duneier, Sociology
    • Yaacob Dweck, History
    • Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology
    • Lorgia García Peña, Effron Center Study of America
    • William A. Gleason, English
    • Judith Hamera, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Brian E. Herrera, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Monica Huerta, English
    • Alison E. Isenberg, History
    • Shamus R. Khan, Sociology
    • Beth Lew-Williams, History
    • Ryo Morimoto, Anthropology
    • Paul Nadal, English
    • Kinohi Nishikawa, English
    • Ikaika Ramones, Anthropology
    • Sarah Rivett, English
    • Paul E. Starr, Sociology
    • Judith Weisenfeld, Religion
    • Peter Wirzbicki, History
    • Stacy E. Wolf, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Professor

    • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
    • Yarimar Bonilla
    • Allison Carruth
    • Rachael Z. DeLue
    • Lorgia García Peña
    • William A. Gleason
    • Judith Hamera
    • Shamus R. Khan
    • Sarah Rivett
    • Stacy E. Wolf
  • Assistant Professor

    • Carolyn Choi
    • Monica Huerta
    • Paul Nadal
  • Lecturer

    • Aracely Garcia Gonzalez
    • Ijeoma Odoh
    • Keishla Rivera-Lopez
  • Visiting Professor

    • Samuel C. Heilman
    • Melanye T. Price
  • Visiting Associate Professor

    • Shirley S. Wang

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.