The 20th-century Americanists have a particular concern with the history of ideas, institutions and movements relating to rights and social justice. Faculty specialize in a range of issues from housing discrimination and homophobia to the design and functioning of human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, and identity formation. Faculty share an interest in the ways that enduring ideals in U.S. political culture, such as "democracy," "equality," or "freedom" have often unequally distributed rights, privileges and obligations, as well as how these ideals have been reinterpreted, marshaled or manipulated to provide or deny real institutional political power to individuals, groups, and peoples. University resources such as the vast Henry Hampton Collection at Olin Library encompassing the modern civil rights movement are available for the use of faculty and graduate students.
Sonia Song-Ha Lee