American Studies at Miami University
Alumni Video: AMS Was a Natural Fit for Me
Featuring Whittney Barth (Miami 2008)
The Pluralism Project, Harvard University
(In this video Whittney Barth talks about how her first AMS course opened her eyes to critical questions. She graduated magna cum laude with majors in American studies and comparative religion and with a minor in political science. Whittney participated in the University Honors Urban Leadership Program (Chicago) and University Honors in Comparative Religion. In 2011 she earned her Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School. Ms. Barth reflects on Miami professors and talks about one really meaningful course in a video on the College of Arts and Science website.)
"I came into Miami with an interest in journalism. During my first semester, I enrolled in an American Studies course, which really opened my eyes to some of the critical questions that can arise when we look at American culture—questions that I hadn't heard happening in other places, but really felt that were important, that needed to be continued, whether in my own life or in a larger public discourse.
"As I became more involved in encouraging students in my extracurricular life to engage with one another across religious difference, I realized the importance of studying religion as an academic discipline and being able to combine those two was really a quite natural fit for me, because of my interest in American society and the role that religion has played in that context. It's a society that we live in. It's a society that we engage with. Whether it's in politics, whether it's in social justice issues, it's something that's near and dear to my heart.
"And a political science minor kind of evolved out of that as well because of this need to understand the civic foundations of American democracy and society."