American Conversations

Investigate America’s Culture and Values

Explore the Nature of Citizenship

Join a Community of Learners — Inside and Outside the Classroom

Study Literature, Political Science, History, Art and more in a Sequence of Conversation Courses


What is American Conversations?

American Conversations – or “Amcon” as it is known on campus – is an interdisciplinary learning community, open to all St. Olaf students interested in an in-depth exploration of America. Over a sequence of four integrated courses, students examine:

  • American culture – from literature to art to film to popular culture…
  • American history, and how that history has been continually reinterpreted over the years…
  • America’s values and role in the world, and debate what those values and roles should be…
  • The meaning of citizenship, both in the classroom and the surrounding community…

American Conversations is a learning community where students get to know one another both in their conversation-based classes, and by living in a common dorm in their first year. Amconners also get together for program dinners, field trips and social events. In Amcon, conversations might start in the classroom and continue over dinner or during a trip to a Twin-cities museum or theater.
Finally, American Conversations is a way for students of all majors to acquire many of their general education course credits in one place, from literary and artistic studies to history and multicultural studies, from writing and oral communications to social sciences.

St. Olaf Winter Magazine features American Conversations

Click on the magazine cover to read the article.