The Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora was established in 2004. It emerged from the consolidation of various programs already in existence (Chair of American Studies, Center for Canadian Studies, Chair of Latin American Studies, Chair of the History of International Migration Movements, and Chair of Sociology of Nation and Ethnic Relations).
The Chair of American Studies was founded in 1991 as an interfaculty research institution of the Jagiellonian University with the aim of teaching Polish students about different issues concerning the United States. In 1995 a program of doctoral studies was launched and in March 2000 the first Ph.D. dissertation was defended.
The Institute now functions within the Department of International and Political Studies. The aim of the Institute is to further academic interdisciplinary research in American, Latin-American, ethnic, migration studies, and Polish diaspora studies.
The Institute offers the following programs of cultural studies for Polish students: American Studies (undergraduate and postgraduate), International Migrations (undergraduate), Latin American Studies (undergraduate).
The Institute currently employs 35 academic staff.
The director of the Institute is prof. Łukasz Kamieński.