The Department of American Civilization at Brown University was founded in 1945 as a collaborative as well as interdisciplinary enterprise. The first catalog statement explained that its purpose was “to provide the student with a more comprehensive and better unified knowledge of American Civilization . . . than would be possible within the limits of a single department.” This rigorous interdisciplinary approach still informs the program's goal of reaching a better understanding of the diverse cultures, groups, and experiences that make up American Civilization.