Carleton University’s Research Centre in American Studies (RCAS) was opened officially by U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson in January, 2010. Its purpose is to provide an intellectual home for those at Carleton working from different disciplines toward a better understanding of the culture, politics, history, and identity of the United States. Since its opening, it has hosted a major international conference, and several well-attended speaker series. Currently, we count nineteen “core” and associated faculty across four Carleton faculties. Much of the public face of Carleton’s American research and teaching (how the United States is “advertised” here) is understandably guided toward contemporary policy issues and bilateral Canadian-American relations. As indispensible as these have been, the RCAS seeks to broaden our engagement with the complexity and diversity of the United States in its own right by providing expertise, a wider and longer perspective, and up to the moment scholarship by specialists in the U.S. field broadly conceived.

The community of scholars we bring together come from literature, history, political science, economics, and cultural studies, among others, and this collaborative environment highlights the points of disciplinary intersection around the thematic area of “American Studies.” To that end, the Centre serves as a home for Canada’s principal American Studies journal: The Canadian Review of American Studies (edited by Professor of English Priscilla Walton). In addition, we provide an institutional locus for building student and faculty ties to American institutions. One of our faculty, Melissa Haussman, is a member of the College Advisory Liaison Board of The Washington Center, the world’s largest provider of public, private and advocacy-sector internships. She brought the agreement for internship provision through The Washington Center upon her arrival at Carleton in 2005. We are currently developing ties to a number of American and European American Studies programmes that will soon enable Canadian students and researchers to enjoy the intellectual benefits of the Centre’s international orientation.

To contact us, please write to the Interim Director, Andrew M. Johnston (History): andrew.johnston@carleton.ca or phone at: 613-520-2600, x4154.