Mission of the MA in the Study of the Americas 

The mission of the Master of Arts in the Study of the Americas at the City College of New York is to offer students a liberal arts degree, in step with the most cutting-edge trends in interdisciplinary education. The program seeks to address new questions and concepts about the Americas as it focuses on topics such as: racial and ethnic identities, migration and immigration, popular culture, politics, gender relations, and human rights. One of the practical goals of our program is to nourish a collaborative space within which students may develop their intellectual engagement, applying diverse and myriad disciplinary approaches to investigate the intersection between education, policy, government, society, history, culture, and the arts.

For students who already have careers, we offer a scholarly space in which they may engage their current professional responsibilities and interests using theoretical frameworks. For students who are preparing for a first career or career change, our program offers varying perspectives from which to explore potential paths. A second concrete objective of our program is to provide students with a rigorous, well-defined curriculum that grounds students in an interdisciplinary perspective, but one that also allows them to explore more individual interests. Our 30-credit program allows students, with approval, to take up to three 3-credit courses at another division within the City College or at another CUNY campus, or even benefit from the study abroad programs whose content areas complement that of the MA in the Study of the Americas. 

Enrollment and Graduates' Success 

Thanks to the degree, our graduates are excelling in their next steps in their intellectual and professional pursuits. Our first graduate, Cristian Santana, went on to an internship at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations. Brian Easy, after graduating in May 2013, was promoted from Branch Manager for the Westchester/Crosby branch at Citi to Global Business Trainer, VP, with a specialty in the Americas. Nelson Santana, who graduated in February 2013, received the Dean's Fellowship at Drexel University to pursue a Master of Science in Library and Information Science, one of the top programs in the country for library science. Bonnie Ip, a September 2012 graduate, is currently pursuing a degree at the New School for Social Research. Lara Rodriguez is pursuing an MA in our program, as well as an MA in Anthropology at Hunter College. 

M.A. Directors

2014 - 2015 - Carlos Aguasaco Ph.D.

2012 - 2014 - Alessandra Benedicty Ph.D.

2011 - 2012 - Marlene Clark Ph.D.

2009 - 2010 - Irina Carlota Silber Ph.D.






Initiatives of the MA in the Study of the Americas at the City College

Human Rights: A Yearlong Forum
We are collaborating on Human Rights: A Yearlong Forum at the City College 

Thanks to a grant conferred by President Lisa Staiano-Coico, we have been able to organize various events and initiatives, including, “Indigeneity in the Americas: A Transnational Roundtable and Workshop” (Spring 2013), which included special invitees Circe Sturm, author of Blood Politics: Race, Culture, and Identity in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (University of California Press, 2002) and Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the 21st Century (School for Advanced Research Press, 2011) and John Haworth, Director, National Museum of the American Indian in New York (Smithsonian), as well as panelists working through the City SEEDS grant on indigeneity and other East coast scholars.

In March 2012, under the leadership of Kathlene McDonald, we co-sponsored "Women & Work in the Americas: A symposium on gender, labor, immigration and human rights," with keynote speakers Denise Brennan (Anthropology, Georgetown) and Carolina Bank Muñoz (Sociology, Brooklyn College/CUNY), along with a panel of scholars and activists discussing issues facing immigrant woman workers.

In conjunction with CUNY’s Center for the Humanities’ Mellon Seminar dedicated in 2012-2013 to thinking through ‘poverty’ as a category of critical analysis, the M.A. in the Study of the Americas welcomed a luncheon discussion with Rob Nixon, Rachel Carson Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, moderated by Joseph Entin, Associate Professor of English and Director of the American Studies Program, Brooklyn College (CUNY).

In Fall 2011, we organized a lecture series titled “Aesthetic and Cultural Expressions of African-Derived Religions” 

“Human Rights: Theory and Practice,” Symposium at the City College’s Center for Worker Education, co-organized by Irina Carlota Silber and Martin Woessner, sponsored by the Frances S. Patai Fund on the Nazi Holocaust, the M.A. Program in the Study of the Americas, and the Dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies.