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A Guide to American Culture Studies

This page brings together various information resources on the subject of American Culture Studies

A Tale of Two Images

Subject Headings & Keyword Search Terms

As this is an American Culture Studies course, you might expect to find most of the research materials you will need on the 2nd floor of Olin Library under the Library of Congress Call Number (LCCN) H for the social sciences.  An outline of the headings and subheadings covered within the Hs is available on on this page of Library of Congress Classifications. You might find relevant material categorized under political science (J), technology (T), law (K), and other fields. Further, books on these subject areas might not only be in Olin Library, but in the Brown, Business, and Law School libraries as well. So, browsing the stacks is a resource-gathering strategy, but it is unlikely to be the most efficient one.

A keyword search ("Word(s)") in the Washington University Libraries' catalog is similar to a Google search in that the words you enter could be anywhere in the item record (title, subject, chapter titles, contents summary, etc.). If you do not know the Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) for the topic you are researching, then a keyword search is a good way to start. However, if you want to find EVERYTHING the library owns on a subject, you will want to discover the proper subject headings and peruse the available titles therein. When you see a title and say to yourself: "Hey, that sounds exactly like what I'm looking for!," click on that item record, then click on it's LCSH for all titles in the library under that subject heading.   

The following is a partial list of relevant subject headings:

4chan (Electronic resource)
Assange, Julian
Behavior modification
Big data
Campaign funds 
Communications security establishment
Consumer behavior
Consumer profiling
Computer crimes
Computer networks
Computers and civilization
Confidential communications
Defence intelligence
Domestic intelligence
Digital communications
Digital divide
Digital media
Elections -- United States -- 2016
Electronic surveillance 
Espionage, American
Facebook (Electronic resource)
Facebook (Firm)
Fake News
False personation
Federalʹna︠i︡a sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii (FSB, or the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation)
Five eyes
Freedom of information
Freedom of speech
Freedom of the press
Government and the press 
Government information
Great Britain. MI5
Great Britain. MI6
Information sensitivity
Information society
Information superhighway
Information technology
Information warfare
Intellectual freedom
Intelligence agencies
Intelligence assessment
Intelligence service
International relations
International security
Internal security
Internet Research Agency, LLC
Leaks (Disclosure of information) 
Legislative oversight
Manning, Chelsea, 1987-
Mass Media
Mass media and propaganda
Mass media criticism
National security
North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society
Official secrets
Online identities
Online social networks
Online trolling
Personal information management
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 2016
Political rights
Privacy, Right of 
Public opinion
Right to be forgotten
Security, International
Snowden, Edward J., 1983-
Social indicators
Social media
Telecommunication policy
Technological innovations
Technology -- Moral and ethical aspects 
Technology -- Social aspects
Technology and law
Technology and state
Trump, Donald, 1946-
Twitter (Firm)
United States. Central Intelligence Agency
United States. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
United States. Federal Communications Commission
United States. National Security Agency/Central Security Service
United States -- Politics and government -- 2017-
Virtual reality
WikiLeaks (Organization)
Whistle blowing
World politics

Academic Journal Databases

JSTOR - multidisciplinary, a lot of full text articles, but subject headings are too broad
Academic Search Complete (1975-present) - multidisciplinary; subject headings may or may not be LCSH; also made by EBSCO, so overlaps with America: History & Life
Project MUSE a comprehensive collection of peer reviewed, interdisciplinary journals from leading university presses, not-for-profit publishers and prestigious scholarly societies.
Web of Science - Science, social science, arts, and humanities citations for scholarly literature. Content is drawn from the Science Citation Index Expanded (1900-present), Social Sciences Citation Index (1970-present), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present). Features a "highly cited in field" feature.
Scopus - The world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. Contains over 46 million records, 70% with abstracts, and also includes over 4.6 million conference papers.
Political Science
Political Science Database (1985-) - Full-text of 430 political science and international relations journals, many of which are indexed in Worldwide Political Science Abstracts. Also included are hundreds of recent, full-text, political science dissertations from U.S. and Canadian universities, and thousands of current working papers from the Political Science Research Network.
PAIS Index - Indexes and abstracts books, periodical articles, and government publications in the fields of public affairs and public policy. PAIS defines the "realm of public policy" as all subjects that bear on contemporary issues and the making and evaluating of public policy, including policy oriented literature of the academic social sciences such as economics, finance, law, education, the military, political science, public administration, international law and relations, the environment, demography, public health, science and technology, and reports and commentary on public affairs from the serious general press.
Oxford Handbooks Online: Political Science - offers thorough introductions to topics and a critical survey of the current state of scholarship in a particular field of study, creating an original conception of the field and setting the agenda for new research. The articles review the key issues and major debates, and provide an original argument for how those debates might evolve. 

Sociology/Social Science

SocINDEX with Full Text scholarly journals, plus extensive indexing for books/monographs, conference papers, and other non-periodical content sources. Provides comprehensive coverage of sociology, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study. Access provided by the Social Work Library.
Social Science Database (1994-) Covers over 1,000 titles on a variety of topics, 700 of which are available in full text. Provides information on hundreds of topics, including addiction studies, urban studies, family studies, and international relations.
SocArXiv free, open access, open source archive for social science research; papers on SocArXiv will be permanently available and free to the public.
Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is composed of a number of specialized research networks in the social sciences. Topics covered by networks include accounting, economics, financial economics, legal scholarship, and management (including negotiation and marketing). The SSRN eLibrary consists of abstracts of scholarly working papers and forthcoming papers and an electronic paper collection of downloadable full text documents in pdf format.
Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) (1987-) abstracts and indexes over 600 journals and periodicals, from more than 16 countries, spanning literature of health, social services, psychology, sociology, economics, politics from 1987 to present.

Hein Online - contains more than 900 searchable full-text law journals and many legal resources, including the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, and U.S. Statutes at Large. Useful for U.S. political history.

Popular Periodical Databases

MAS Ultra (1975 - ) - Full text for more than 700 popular magazines, plus biographies, primary source documents, pamphlets, and reference books\

Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic) - contains more than 15,000 news, legal and business sources, including journals, television and radio broadcasts, newswires and blogs; local, regional, national and international newspapers with deep archives; extensive legal sources for federal and state cases and statutes, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1790; business information on more than 80 million U.S. and international companies and more than 75 million executives.

Nexis Uni includes transcripts from the following (once in the database go to "By Source Type" and change to Broadcast transcripts): ABC News (select programs); ABC Transcripts (Australia); American Public Media; BBC Monitoring; Bloomberg (select programs); Burrelle's Transcripts Business Day TV - Transcripts; Cavuto; CBS News Transcripts; Channel NewsAsia; Charlie Rose Show; CNBC/Dow Jones Business Video; CNBC News; CNN; CNN en Espanol; CNN Financial All; CNN Financial Network; CNN International; CNN Transcripts; CQ Congressional Testimony; CQ Transcriptions; CTV Television; Dan Rather Reports; ET Now Transcripts; EuroNews; FDCH News Service Capitol Report; Federal News Service; Financial Market Regulatory Wire; Follow the Money; Foreign Correspondent; Fox Business Happy Hour; Fox Business Network Transcripts; Fox News Network; Freedom Watch; Global Broadcast Database - English (Full Text); Imus Simulcast; Lou Dobbs Tonight; Money for Breakfast; Montel Williams Show; MSNBC; National Narrowcast Network Transcripts; National Public Radio (NPR); The Nightly Business Report; NBC News; PBS NewsHour (formerly the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer); Power and Money; Presidential Campaign Press Materials; Renseignor; SEC Wire; Stossel Transcripts; TVEyes (BBC, ITV); Wall Street Journal Report. For assistance using Nexis Uni, see their Nexis Uni Tutorials on YouTube.

C-SPAN Video Library (1987-) - records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN videos since 1987.

Factiva - a current international news database produced by Dow Jones, Factiva combines over 32,000 sources from 200 countries, in 28 languages. Users have access to a wide range of information from newspapers, newswires, industry publications, websites, company reports, and more. It includes: national, international and regional newspapers (e.g., The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, El Pais, The Financial Times, The Guardian, etc.); magazines, journals and trade publications (e.g., Forbes, Newsweek , etc.); newswires (e.g., AFP, Reuters, Dow Jones, etc.); TV or radio podcasts (e.g., BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox , etc.); major news and business information websites, blogs and message boards; company reports; photo agencies (e.g., Reuters, Knight Ridder, etc.), and materials on the EUR-Lex website (the law of the European Union).

Newspapers (<-- link to "Periodicals: Journals, Newspapers & Magazines" in my American History LibGuide)

Government Documents

ProQuest Congressional - comprehensive access to U.S. legislative information. Includes: CIS Legislative Histories (public laws back to 1969), Congressional publications (1817- ), testimony from Congressional hearings (1824-), Congressional Record and Federal Register, U.S. Serial Set, 1789-1969, Serial Set Maps, 1789-1969, and more.

Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) - the nation’s premier collection of documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management. The HSDL is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. This public collection includes items such as: U.S. policy and strategy documents related to homeland security (general U.S. policy documents, national strategies, Executive Orders and Presidential Directives, and key legislation), Congressional hearings and legislation, Congressional Research Service reports & issue briefs, GAO reports & testimony, theses & research reports from U.S. federal academic institutions, particularly the Naval Postgraduate School, and thousands of additional resources released by U.S. federal government agencies and organizations

RAND Documents - the RAND ("Research ANDevelopment") Corporation is an American nonprofit global policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations, universities, and private individuals. This database indexes RAND documents and reports dating back to 1948, covering social and economic policy issues in the U.S. and overseas, international policy, and national security. Many are available full-text.

De-Classified Documents Reference System (DDRS) selected previously classified government documents ranging from the years immediately following World War II, when declassified documents were first made widely available, through the 1970s. Search by name, date, word, or phrase, or focus on document type, issue date, source institution, classification level, date declassified, sanitization, completeness, number of pages, and document number. Nearly every major foreign and domestic event of these years is covered: the Cold War, Vietnam, foreign policy shifts, the civil rights movement, and others.

National Security Archive Founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to check rising government secrecy, the NSA at George Washington University combines a unique range of functions: investigative journalism center, research institute on international affairs, library and archive of declassified U.S. documents ("the world's largest nongovernmental collection" according to the Los Angeles Times), leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information, global advocate of open government, and indexer and publisher of former secrets.

Legislative Research - the Congressional Quarterly (CQ) suite of databases
CQ Researcher (1991 - ) - 44 reports per year. Explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week, featuring comments from experts, lawmakers and citizens on all sides of every issue. A nice place to begin, to get a frame of reference to a topic and a starter bibliography on it.
CQ Voting and Elections Collection - organized into six categories: presidential elections, congressional elections, gubernatorial elections, campaigns and elections, political parties, and voters and demographics. Integrates data, authoritative analyses, concise explanations, and historical material to provide a research and reference tool on voting and elections in America.
CQ Almanac (1945 - ) - original narrative accounts of every major piece of legislation that lawmakers considered during a congressional session. Arranged thematically.
CQ Weekly (1983 - ) - in-depth reports on issues looming on the congressional horizon, plus a complete wrap up the previous week's news, including the status of bills in play, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes.

For additional assistance with access to U.S. government documents, see Tove Klovning, librarian for U.S. government documents and foreign/comparative/international law at the Law School.

The Geopolitical Context of Alleged 2016 Election Interference

Alternative Media

The Web is wide and wild. The following news sources are ones your librarian reads. Results may vary:

AlterNet is a politically left-leaning website that was launched in 1998 by the non-profit now known as the Independent Media Institute. In 2018, the website was acquired by owners of The Raw Story (a left-leaning American online news organization founded in 2004 by John K. Byrne. It covers current national and international political and economic news and publishes its own editorials and investigative pieces). Some AlterNet content is republished on Salon.
Bureau of Investigative Journalism  is an independent, not-for-profit organization that holds power to account. Our aim is to inform the public about the realities of power in today's world. We are particularly concerned with the undermining of democratic processes and failures to accord with fair, legal and transparent practices. We inform the public through in-depth investigative journalism, with no corporate or political agenda. Through fact-based, unbiased reporting, we expose systemic wrongs, counter misinformation and spark change. Our journalists dig deep, and will spend months getting to the truth if that’s what it takes. Once our investigations are complete, we give them to mainstream media outlets around the world, so they are seen by as many people as possible. We focus on serious issues affecting our society and identify new areas of investigation through research, data, whistleblowers and contacts. We are always keen to hear from individuals, journalists and organizations interested in collaborating with us.
Center for International Policy works to make a peaceful, just and sustainable world the central pursuit of U.S. foreign policy.  We promote cooperation, transparency and accountability in the international relations of the United States. Through research and advocacy, our programs offer common sense solutions to address the most urgent threats to our planet: war, corruption, inequality and climate change. CIP is an independent nonprofit center for research, public education and advocacy on U.S. foreign policy. CIP's scholars, researchers, journalists, analysts and former government officials provide a unique mixture of issue-area expertise, access to high-level officials, media savvy and strategic vision. We work to inform the public and decision makers in the United States on policies to make the world more peaceful, just, and sustainable.
Center for Responsive Politics is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Their website is the most comprehensive resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis available anywhere.
Consortium News  - The late Robert Parry founded and edited Consortium News starting in 1995 as the first investigative news magazine based on the Internet, because the mainstream media was falling into a pattern of groupthink on issue after issue, often ignoring important factual information because it didn’t fit with what all the "Important People" knew to be true. They also look at the underlying problems of modern democracy, particularly the insidious manipulation of citizens by government propaganda and the accomplice role played by mainstream media. 
CovertAction Magazine began in 1978 as the CovertAction Information Bulletin (CAIB), later to be named CovertAction Quarterly (CAQ). Former writers and publishers of CAIB and CAQ relaunched CAM in 2018 as a not-for-profit organization staffed by tried and true investigative journalists, professors, organizers, funders, proofreaders and legal representation. The expanded team specializes in a variety of social justice issues including intervention, war, covert action, intelligence, political economy, imperialism, labor, repression, surveillance, media, racial justice, sexism, environmentalism, and immigration.
Cryptome is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created in 1996 by John Young and Deborah Natsios and sponsored by Natsios-Young Architects. It welcomes documents for publication that are prohibited by governments worldwide, in particular material on freedom of expression, privacy, cryptology, dual-use technologies, national security, intelligence, and secret governance -- open, secret and classified documents -- but not limited to those. Documents are removed from its site only by order served directly by a US court having jurisdiction. Cryptome is known for publishing the alleged identity of the CIA analyst who located Osama Bin Laden, lists of people allegedly associated with the Stasi, and the PSIA. Cryptome is also known for publishing the alleged identity of British intelligence agent and anti-Irish Republican Army assassin Stakeknife and the disputed internal emails of the WikiLeaks organization. Cryptome republished the already public surveillance disclosures of Edward Snowden and announced in June 2014 that they would publish all unreleased Snowden documents later that month.
DailyClout is a platform that empowers real people to build & exert real political clout, turning them into do-it-yourself lobbyists, journalists & leaders. 
Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues. On Democracy Now!, you’ll hear a diversity of voices speaking for themselves, providing a unique and sometimes provocative perspective on global events.
Disobedient Media - The truth has no bias. We are an independent media company.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is a national media watch group which has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. They work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, they expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.
Forensic News LLC is a concept and experiment. At its core, we aim to deliver original long-form investigative journalism that actually matters. Investigative reports should always include hard evidence i.e. documents, notes, bank records, photos, videos, flight logs, etc. You should never have to pay to read important journalism. We believe that readers who find value in true, hard-hitting investigative journalism will be willing to contribute to the cause in exchange for some extra perks. 
Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.
The Centre for Research on Globalization was founded by Michel Chossudovsky, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa and is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal.  The CRG is a registered non-profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada. 
Grayzone is an independent news website dedicated to original investigative journalism and analysis on politics and empire. It was founded and is edited by award-winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal. From January 2016 to January 2018, hosted the Grayzone Project (now simply The Grayzone). Since then, it has been independent.
Institute for Policy Studies' scholar-activists provide critical support for major social movements by producing seminal books, films, and articles; educating key policymakers and the general public; and crafting practical strategies in support of peace, justice, and the environment. Its three key principles are: public scholarship (only in the nexus of policy research, advocacy, and grassroots activism can ideas be turned into action); independence (speaking truth to power requires financial and programmatic independence from governmental funding and corporate influence), and local, national, and global partnering (with allies and social movements on the ground, IPS work operates simultaneously on the local, national, and global levels because we believe that transformation requires engagement at every level).
Institute for Public Accuracy is an independent media outreach organization broadening public discourse with well-documented analysis of current events
Insurge Intelligence is a people-powered watchdog journalism for the global commons using crowdfunded, adversarial investigations to empower people and save the planet. Founded by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, a British investigative journalist, author and academic.
The Intercept is an award-winning news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Glenn Greenwald, co-founding editor and columnist, is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. Jeremy Scahill, co-founding editor, is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international best-selling books. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!
InterPresss Service News Agency acts as a communication channel that privileges the voices and the concerns of the poorest and creates a climate of understanding, accountability and participation around development, promoting a new international information order between the South and the North.
Media Lens  has been describing how mainstream newspapers and broadcasters operate as a propaganda system for the elite interests that dominate modern society since 2001. They check the media’s version of events against credible facts and opinion provided by journalists, academics and specialist researchers. We then publish both versions, together with our commentary, in free Media Alerts and invite readers to deliver their verdict both to us and to mainstream journalists through the email addresses provided in our ’Suggested Action’ at the end of each alert. 
Media Roots is a citizen journalism project that reports the news from outside of party lines while providing a collaborative forum for conscious citizens, artists and activists to unite. It was founded by Abby Martin and her husband, Mike Prysner 
MintPress News is a news website founded and edited by Mnar Muhawesh (raised in Minneapolis to Palestinian-American parents) which was launched in January 2012. They describe themselves as an independent watchdog journalism organization that provides issue-based original reporting, in-depth investigations, and thoughtful analysis. They focus our coverage on issues relating to the effects of special interest groups, big business and lobbying efforts and how they shape policies at home and abroad, including American foreign policy.  
Open Democracy is an independent global media platform publishing up to 60 articles a week and attracting over 7 million visits per year. Through reporting and analysis of social and political issues, openDemocracy seeks to educate citizens to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. With human rights as our central guiding focus, and open-mindedness as our method, we ask tough questions about freedom, justice and democracy. We help those fighting for their rights gain the agency to make their case and to inspire action. 
Project Censored educates students and the public about the importance of a truly free press for democratic self-government.  We expose and oppose news censorship and we promote independent investigative journalism, media literacy, and critical thinking. Without access to relevant news and opinion, people cannot fully participate in government. Without media literacy, people cannot evaluate for themselves the quality or significance of the news they receive. Project Censored’s work highlights the important links among a free press, media literacy, and democratic self-government.
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account. With a team of more than 75 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics including government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, health care, immigration, and technology. 
Real News Network produces independent, verifiable, fact-based journalism that engages ordinary people in solving the critical problems of our times. TRNN was launched in 2007 by Paul Jay (Toronto-born journalist and filmmaker), who serves as the network's CEO and senior editor.
Shadowproof  is driven to produce journalism, analysis and commentary relentlessly focused on long-existing and pervasive injustices as well as inappropriate control exerted by institutions of power; to develop a support structure to empower talented but struggling and out-of-work journalists; to connect journalists, writers and contributors with communities often marginalized and ignored by established media outlets to not only provide a platform but also transform such journalism into an explicit public service; to encourage community participation by those at the grassroots level in the daily production of journalistic work with a recognition of the ways in which readers may enhance perspective and impact of stories; to create community that goes beyond debilitating cynicism fueled by depravity and corruption in institutions to also celebrate positive acts of resistance and meaningful organizing for social and cultural transformation, and to demonstrate solidarity with journalists, writers, artists and other members of the creative class, especially those under-privileged, who either dissent or stand up to power in defense of press freedom and freedom of expression, speech, thought, culture and inquiry.
Tom Engelhardt launched Tomdispatch in November 2001 as an e-mail publication offering commentary and collected articles from the world press. In December 2002, it gained its name, became a project of TYPE Media Center, and went online as "a regular antidote to the mainstream media." It is intended to introduce readers to voices and perspectives from elsewhere (even when the elsewhere is here). Its mission is to connect some of the global dots regularly left unconnected by the mainstream media and to offer a clearer sense of how this imperial globe of ours actually works.
Truthdig is a news website that provides a mix of long-form articles, blog items, curated links, interviews, arts criticism and commentary on current events delivered from a politically progressive, left-leaning point of view. The site offers independent journalism and focuses on major “digs” that drill beneath the headlines to reveal facts overlooked or not reported by mainstream media.