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Department of American Studies of Seton Hall University records

 Collection
Identifier: SHU 0025
The collection is primarily composed of documents concerning the department's budget, correspondence, and minutes from the executive council. Materials also include information on the department's executive council and exam questions from the early 1970s. The folders are in original order.

Dates

  • 1965-1989 (bulk 1973-1978)
  • Majority of material found within 1973 - 1978

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Overview

The American Studies Program was instituted on the graduate level in the mid-1960s, combining several areas of study, particularly History and English. The department appears to have dissolved in the 1980s. This is a small collection of papers from the Department of American Studies program at Seton Hall University, mainly between 1973 and 1978. The collection is composed of papers, mostly concerning the department's budget, correspondence, and minutes from the executive council.

Biographical / Historical

The American Studies Program was instituted at Seton Hall University at the graduate level in the mid-1960s, appearing in the University catalogue for the first time in 1966. The original program prescribed seven specific courses from five departments, plus two electives and a thesis; English and History were the most popular areas of study. Father Bert Marino became the first Director in 1968 and served until 1973. He introduced the American Studies Colloquium and the Seminar in American Studies (first and final courses) as integrating methodological and "interdisciplinary" factors for the Program. The list of specific course requirements was supplanted by area requirements. In 1971 a seven-member American Studies Council was created to assist the Director in making policy and evaluating the Program. Professor William Smith replaced Father Marino for 1973-74, and Professor Daniel Leab served as Director from 1974 until 1979 except for a sabbatical semester (Smith served the interim). Professor Leab introduced the practice of using guest lecturers to broaden and vary the focus of some of the interdisciplinary courses, and brought internships at the Metropolitan Museum into the Program. In 1979 because of continued low enrollment the Program was placed in the History Department, and Professor Edward Shapiro assumed the position of Director. After this point, without formal dissolution, the American Studies Council ceased to function.

Enrollment in the Program was substantial though the early 1970s, but dropped abruptly thereafter. The department attributed its own decline to a lack of teachers seeking advanced study as a method of increasing their salaries, and the department struggled to rationalize its continued existence and a job market for graduates. The program appears to have been completely dissolved as of 1989, and is no longer offered at Seton Hall.

From "American Studies at Seton Hall," in American Studies Master File.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center from the Seton Hall University Department of American Studies. Terms of accession unknown.

Related Materials

College of Arts & Sciences of Seton Hall University records, 1960-1994, SHU 0012, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University

College of Education and Human Services of Seton Hall University records, 1956-2002 (bulk 1956-1977), SHU 0013, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University.

Processing Information

Basic finding aid created by Bridgette Frank, Lucia Alvarez, and Tracy M. Jackson as part of the Overhaul Project collection survey, 2013.
Title
Department of American Studies of Seton Hall University records, 1965-1989 (bulk 1973-1978)
Author
Bridgette Frank and Tracy M. Jackson
Date
2013
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Contact:
Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US
973-761-9476