The American Studies program focuses on the culture and civilization of the United States and includes the study of history, literature, politics, art, philosophy, music, and religion. This is a great minor if you are a curious student who wants to cross-traditional disciplinary borders.

The American Studies minor allows you to examine the intersections of American political, cultural, and social life through courses from across numerous disciplines. Choosing to minor in American Studies enables you become better acclimated with topics, controversies, and scholarship that permeate America’s social and cultural fabric.

Professors encourage the free exchange of ideas and interpretations. You will come to understand that the really important historical questions—the “why” questions—have no single right answer, but that all interpretations must be judged on the basis of the evidence that is offered to support them. By learning how to analyze and write about the past, you will make positive contributions to classes in other disciplines, too, including the arts, science, and business.

  • Millsaps College, American Studies, Nathan Shrader

    Nathan R. Shrader

    Assistant Professor of Political Science
    Director, American Studies

    601.974.1438 | Email


    BA, Thiel College; MS, Suffolk University; PhD, Temple University

    Before arriving at Millsaps in fall 2014, Nathan Shrader served successively as legislative aide and deputy director of communications to Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, legislative aide to Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter in the Virginia General Assembly, and research analyst at Abrams Learning and Information Systems under General John N. Abrams (retired). He most recently worked from 2009 to 2014 at the Center on Regional Politics at Temple University and was an adjunct professor at Drexel and Neumann Universities. Shrader earlier served as legislative intern in Washington for United States Senator Arlen Specter, legislative intern to Pennsylvania State Representative Rod E. Wilt, and as a clerk under Westmoreland County (PA) Recorder of Deeds Tom Murphy. He has worked as a consultant, manager, staffer, and volunteer on more than two dozen campaigns for federal, state, and local candidates.

    Through his own unique experiences both studying and practicing the art of politics and governance, Shrader encourages his students to build bridges between the theoretical and the real-world application of political science. His main areas of academic interest include state and local government, political history, the presidency, political marketing, campaigns and elections, political parties, and public policy.