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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences
Harold Chase/Edward J. Sweeney, New York Highlanders, baseball card portrait; Fred R. Hamlin's musical extravaganza, The wizard of Oz; Ringling Bros.--Crandall and his comic burlesque equestrian act on his riding mule Thunderbolt; Woman beating cassava, Jamaica American WW1 Propaganda Poster - U.S. Department of Labor, 1918; Hand painted mural showing the Cuban flag and Che Guevara, neighborhood in Old Havana, Cuba
; WWII Patriotic 'We Can Do It' Poster by J. Howard Miller Photo by Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times; Old Negro (former slave); Unidentified man, head-and-shoulders portrait; Son of depression refugee from Oklahoma now in California

In American Studies, we consider the history, politics, and cultures of the Americas from an interdisciplinary perspective. Historically grounded in English and History, the field now incorporates people, ideas, and methods from across the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our practice is a form of critical citizenship.

Fall 2016 Course Lineup!



The Star Spangled Muse
Saturday, April 9th, 3:00p
Wylie House Museum, 307 E. 2nd St.

Undergraduate Info Session and Pizza!
Thursday, February 18th, 1:30 - 2:30p
Ballantine Hall 004

Join us for a slice and find out what a degree in American Studies can do for you.

Pop-up Teach-in
Wednesday, October 7th, Noon - 1:30p
Oak Room, IMU

Format: 6 Flash talks by faculty and undergraduates and Q&A discussions

Grab a bite and join undergraduates and faculty discussing issues related to Coates' Between the World and Me.

Center for Documentary Research and Practice - Lecture Series

Photographers, Cedric Nunn from South Africa and Andrew Lichtenstein from Brooklyn, NY, explore the visual intersection of history and memory on landscapes of war, genocide, slavery, and colonial dispossession.

Andrew Lichtenstein - Seminar
Thursday, September 24th, 11:30a - 1:00p
College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI) 1125 E. Atwater Ave.

Nunn and Lichtenstein will present their work together exploring the visual remnants of the racial atrocities that are ineradicable aspects of both the American and South African past.
Thursday, September 24th, 4:00 - 6:00p
School of Education, Room 1120

Cedric Nunn - Seminar
Friday, September 25th, 1:00 - 2:00p
Center for Integrative Photographic Studies, Fine Arts Building 020


  • Rasul Mowatt was recently featured in NUVO magazine (page 45) as Best of the Best Professors in Bloomington.
  • Karen Inouye was chosen to receive a 2015-2016 Trustee Teaching Award.
  • Yarí Cruz is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Latino Studies Dissertation Year Fellowship for her dissertation project, "Negotiating a Hemispheric Latinidad: Latin American Representations of Latinos/as in the U.S."
  • Nzingha Kendall was awarded the 2016-2017 College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Year Research Fellowship with a stipend of $20,000. The award, made possible through funding from the Louise McNutt Fellowship, will provide opportunities for further development of her dissertation project "Imperfect Independence: Black Women's Experimental Cinema."
  • Vivian Halloran received a 2016 Student Learning Analytics Fellows Grant for her proposal "Using Analytics to Compare Student Demographics for Different Delivery Methods" (Face to Face, Hybrid, Online) of AMST-A100 What is America? course.
  • Vivian Halloran's new book, The Immigrant Kitchen: Food, Ethnicity, and Diaspora, will hit the bookshelf in March. But, you can pre-order it now via
  • Congratulations to Alex Chambers, Nzingha Kendall, and Courtney Mitchel -- all three have successfully defended their dissertation prospectus and are ABD!
  • Caitlin Reynolds has been chosen to receive a fall College of Arts and Sciences Travel award!! She will present "Please Play to Get Paid: The Politics of Monetizing User-Generated Content on YouTube" at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in Atlanta, GA this spring.
  • Check out Professor Halloran's blog to learn about Ta-Nehisi Coates' visit 10/23/2015.
  • Yar Cruz was selected to be a Diversity intern for CITL this year.
  • Jordache Ellapen successfully defended his dissertation, "From Black to Brown: Race, Diaspora, and Post-apartheid in South Africa," July 22, 2015. He will begin the fall semester at Washington University, St. Louis, in African and African American Studies as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • Michael Martin and Brian Graney have secured two substantial grants for the BFC/A. The first, from CAHI, will support its fall international symposium, From Cinematic Past to Fast Forward Present: D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation Centennial, which will take place November 12-13, and which is being organized in partnership with the Media School and IU Cinema. The second is from the National Preservation Foundation and will support the BFC/A's preservation of Jessie Maple's 1989 independent feature Twice as Nice (see, which highlights the BFC/A's preservation project).
  • Alex Chambers received a Sustainability Research Development grant from the IU Office of Sustainability for $2,500. It will allow him to develop the work he's doing on environmental understandings of the wetlands of Southern Louisiana, primarily through an archive of oral histories of oil workers there. Published by the U.S. Minerals Management Service in 2008, the oral histories depict the transformation of Gulf Coast from a wetland ecology to one of dry land and canals dominated by the oil industry. With this grant, he'll be able to head to southern Louisiana to do preliminary archival and ethnographic research on environmental degradation and historical memory that will provide the basis for his dissertation.
  • Nicky Belle, PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology, has been awarded the 2015-2016 Native American and Indigenous Studies fellowship of $18,000.
  • Giselle Cunanan, first-year PhD student in American Studies, was awarded the Matias L. Ochoada fellowship of $500.
  • Jordache Ellapen's photographic work entitled "Queering Africa, Queering Picasso" was selected for the Kinsey annual juried art show. The exhibition will run May 15th - July 11th at the Grunwald Gallery of Art at IUB.
  • Courtney Mitchel was chosen to receive the Virginia L. Gunderson award for her paper "Surveying the 'Empty Land' in Selected South African Postcards."


Friday, April 24th, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., Ballantine Hall 006
"Journalism and the Academy" Workshop


Nathan Ensmenger, Associate Professor, School of Informatics and Computing

Ilana Gershon, Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Culture

Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor, Department of English, and George F. Getz Jr. Professor in the Wells Scholars Program

Elaine Monaghan, Professor of Practice, Journalism, The Media School

Lea Shaver, Associate Professor, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, IUPUI


Deborah Cohn, Professor, American Studies and Spanish and Portuguese

AMST Graduate Program Brown Bag Series

Monday, April 20th, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Sassafras Room, IMU
"Recruit! Forming Committees; and, Writing the Prospectus" presented by Debbie Cohn and Paul Anderson.
A brown bag discussion of how to pick an examination or dissertation committee, how to aproach faculty to ask them to serve, and how to approach the dissertation prospectus.

Monday, March 30th, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Sassafras Room, IMU
"Landing A Fellowship" presented by Myrna Garcia and Christina Snyder.
A brown bag discussion of best practices in applying for and securing grant and fellowship support.

Monday, March 2nd, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Sassafras Room, IMU
"The Quals" featuring students recently through or in the process of completing exams, and departmental DGS, Micol Seigel.