Effron Center for the Study of America

Academic Year 2023 – 2024

General Information

Morrison Hall, 2nd Floor

Program Offerings:

  • Interdepartmental Program - Not currently accepting applicants

Graduate Program Administrator:


The Effron Center for the Study of America enables doctoral candidates to complement studies in their home departments with interdisciplinary training in the fields of study encompassed by American studies, Asian American studies and Latino studies. While the center does not offer a formal graduate certificate, graduate seminars draw from programs of study including environmental studies, gender and sexuality studies, politics, sociology and more. Center events offer opportunities for community and collaboration across the arts, humanities and sciences. The program offers funding to graduate students for research at various stages of their work at Princeton, and supports graduate student initiatives including reading and working groups and student-organized events.

Students cannot be admitted to Princeton University through the programs administered by the Effron Center for the Study of America since they are not degree programs.

Program Offerings

Program Offering: Interdepartmental Program

This program is not currently accepting applications.

Program description

Graduate Research Fund

Students interested in applying for funding to support research toward a dissertation in a topic dealing with American studies, Asian American studies or Latino studies should refer to the Effron Center website for details on application requirements. Grants are available to first- and second-year students for exploratory research, and to exceptional late-stage students working on dissertations seriously engaged with core American studies, Asian American studies or Latino studies themes.

Applications are submitted through SAFE. Students applying for first- and second-year grants, as well as later-stage graduate students, should look for the SAFE opportunity “Effron Center Summer Dissertation Funding for Graduate Students.”

In the academic year following the awarding of a grant, recipients present research supported by the funding. Recipients are expected and encouraged to participate in center events and activities.

Student Programming Initiatives

Graduate student-organized initiatives supported by the Effron Center for the Study of America have included an Asian American studies faculty-graduate reading group, student conferences, and, since 2011, the Princeton American Indian and Indigenous Studies Working Group, a hub for graduate students and faculty from Princeton and beyond who work on Native American and Indigenous studies topics.

Students interest in proposing a new initiative or joining in ongoing work should contact Karyn Greco or Jordan Dixon.


  • Director

    • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
  • Associate Director

    • Patricia Fernández-Kelly

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

ENG 568 - Criticism and Theory (also AMS 568/MOD 568)

A study in the major texts in criticism and theory. Authors include Plato, Aristotle, Sidney, Shelley, Derrida, and Foucault, among others. Topics include mimesis, structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and new historicism.

ENV 596 - Topics in Environmental Studies (also AMS 596/ENG 517/MOD 596)

This topics course offers seminars with a focus on climate change and/or biodiversity. Seminars under this topic examine environmental and societal issues associated with two of the key defining challenges of our time: climate change and/or biodiversity loss. The course uses a multi-disciplinary combination of perspectives and approaches grounded in the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences.

GSS 543 - Interest Groups and Social Movements in American Politics and Policy (also AAS 543/AMS 543/POL 543)

This course engages theoretical and empirical work about interest groups and social movements in American politics and policy-making. We examine theories of interest group and social movement formation, maintenance and decline; how interest groups and social movements attempt to influence public policy; the impact of interest groups and social movements; lobbying; the relationships between interest groups and the three branches of the federal government; interest groups, elections, campaign finance, PACs, and 527s; and the effectiveness of interest groups and social movements as agents of democratic representation.