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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.


Faculty Publications Collage 2013

Check out the course line-up for Summer 2015 !



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.


Thursday, March 26th, 7:00 p.m., Alumni Hall
"It's Not So Black & White: Talking Race, from Ferguson to Bloomington"

The Indiana University Departments of American Studies and History are co-organizing a series of workshops and are open to faculty, students, and members of the public.

Friday, February 20th, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., Ballantine Hall 006
Social Media and Academic Freedom Workshop


Dr. Jennifer Guiliano, Assistant Professor, Department of History, IUPUI

Dr. Raymond Haberski, Jr., Professor of History, Director of American Studies, IUPUI

Dr. Jason Baird Jackson, Associate Professor of Folklore, Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, IUB

Dr. Gerry Lanosga, Assistant Professor, School of Media, IUB

Dr. Steve Sanders, Associate Professor, Maurer School of Law, IUB


Dr. Cara Caddoo, filmmaker, Assistant Professor, American Studies, IUB

Monday, February 9th, 4:00-5:30 p.m., Sycamore Hall 003
High School Teaching and the Culture Wars. Discussion of the politicized environment surrounding pre-collegiate history education.


Anthony Arnove, co-editor with Howard Zinn of The People Speak

Carl Weinberg, Adjunct Associate Professor of History, IUB

William F. Munn, teacher in Marion (IN) Community Schools


  • Congratulations to AMST graduating seniors Stone Irr, Rachael Rodriguez, and Joe Spencer!
  • Vivian Halloran was chosen by the College of Arts and Sciences to receive a Trustees Teaching Award.
  • Jed Kuhn received a Graduate Student Research Grant for $2,000 from the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES).
  • Jordache Ellapen has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis for the upcoming academic year.
  • Michael Martin, Brian Graney, and the BFC/A have been awarded two significant grants. The first is a New Frontiers grant that will support a symposium this fall to mark the centennial of D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation." The second is a $150,000 Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a project on Richard E. Norman and Race Filmmaking: Reprocessing and Digitization.
  • Jezy Gray's article "Wild Life" is being anthologized in the upcoming book, A Voice Was Sounding, Vol. 5, out next month via This Land Press. Jezy is a first year stand-alone PhD student in American Studies.
  • Stone Irr, American Studies major, was elected into Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Vivian Halloran, interviewed by the IDS Inside magazine, talks about daily responsibilities in "The Life of an Academic," an article featured in the February 2015 issue.
  • Cara Caddoo wins the 2015 Vincent J. DeSantis Prize, Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era for her book, Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life. This book prize of $500 will be awarded at the SHGAPE luncheon in April. The award is given in odd-numbered years for the best book treating any aspect of United States history in the period 1865-1920. Also, the Film Quarterly selected Envisioning Freedom for its March "Page Views," which features an interview with Cara.
  • Stephen Selka was awarded $20,000 by the College Arts & Humanities Institute for his project, "Branding Brazil: Religion and the Uses of Cultural Heritage in Bahia."
  • Marlon Bailey's book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit was awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize from the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
  • Cara Caddoo has been awarded a Grant-in-Aid from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research to support her research for her recently published book, Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life.
  • Vivian Halloran is on the planning committee for this year's Themester program. In this capacity, she has organized an exhibit at the Lilly Library called "Book Bites: "Texts that Influenced and Reflected How America Eats," which features a number of texts from the Lilly's food-related collection (see for more information). The exhibit, and opening reception, were featured in the Herald-Times on October 8 (see
  • Cara Caddoo publishes Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life (Harvard University Press, 2014).
  • Jason McGraw's new book, The Work of Recognition: Caribbean Colombia and Postemancipation Struggle for Citizenship (The University of North Carolina Press), hit the shelves August 18th.
  • Courtney Mitchel, AMST PhD student, has been selected as a HASTAC scholar for the 2014-2015 academic year by IDAH. As a Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) scholar, she receives $300 and will work on her digital arts and humanities project "Unfeeling Humanism: Embodied and Aesthetic Subjectivies on the Margins". Courtney's dissertation project "seeks to better understand how those marginalized by contemporary structures of power find alternative means to express their humanity. She is especially interested in the aesthetic realm, including fashion, music, dance, and digital arts. One of her dissertation chapters focuses on Mark Aguhar, a trans, queer, Filipina-American internet artist who utilized the relational networks of the internet to challenge racism, sexism, homophobia and expand our very definitions of what it means to be human."
  • Lessie Frazier has been awarded a course development grant to develop a course for the Fall 2015 Themester: @Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet.
  • Jason McGraw advanced in rank to Associate Professor.
  • Susan Lepselter was promoted to Associate Professor.


Thursday, November 20, 5:15-6:15 p.m., Ballantine Hall 004
Open House for Undergraduate Students

Thursday, November 13, 11:30 a.m., Ballantine Hall 004
AMST Graduate Student Colloquium
Alex Chambers and Susan Lepselter will present "Emerging Grounds: Techniques in the Feeling of Crisis."

Tuesday, November 11, Noon, Woodburn Hall 218
Jordache Ellapen has been invited by the African Studies program to give a talk: "From Black to Brown: Afronormativity, Diaspora, and Race in Post-apartheid South Africa."

ASA Conference, November 6th - 9th
"The Fun and Fury: New Dialectics of Pleasure and Pain In the Post-American Century
Westin Bonaventure, Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, October 29th, 12:00 p.m., Oak Room, IMU
Amy Bentley, will give a talk titled "Baby Food and the Industrial Diet" as part of the Themester Fall 2014.

Thursday, October 23rd, 4:00-5:30 p.m. (with reception to follow)
College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI)
1211 East Atwater Avenue
Nicole Fleetwood will present "Giving Face: Diana Ross and the Black Celebrity as Icon".

Friday and Saturday, October 10th-11th, Tree Suites, IMU
Global Moral Panics Symposium
Global Moral Panics was a two-day conference that will brought together scholars from diverse fields to explore "global moral panics": issues hyped in the media and public discourse that crystallize a problem of geopolitical inequality.

The Symposium is also the annual Cultural Studies Conference and is supported by the Cultural Studies Program, the Department of American Studies, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Ostrom Foundation, the Center for the Study of Global Change, and the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs. It is a product of the Indiana University Global Moral Panics Working Group, a coalition of faculty and graduate students interested in global social justice and in changing the conversation around human trafficking on the Bloomington campus and beyond.

Friday, October 3rd, 2:00-4:30, Oak Room, IMU
The Latino Studies Program Presents: The Politics of Race and Representation

Tuesday, September 16th, 4:00 p.m., Kelley Graduate Bldg., BLCG 2069
Andrea S. Noble, Professor of Spanish at Durham University (UK), will give a lecture titled "Tears in Mexico: A Cultural History of Emotions and Motivations". Her lecture is based on her current project, which examines public acts of weeping from Hemán Cortés through Poncho Villa in relation to contemporary historical circumstances and questions of power, class, and gender. She is the author of Photography and Memory in Mexico: Icons of Revolution (Manchester, 2010), Mexican National Cinema (Routledge, 2005), and Tina Modotti: Image, Texture, Photography (University of New Mexico, 2000). She has also published numberous articles and guest edited a special issue of the Bulletin of Latin American Research on Mexican visual culture in 2010. Earlier this year, she organized a conference, The Cold War Camera, in Guatemala.

There will be a Brown Bag Colloquium at Noon on September 16th in Ballantine Hall 004.

Wednesday, September 10th, Noon, State Room East, IMU
As part of the Themester Fall 2014 Eat, Drink, Think: Food from Art to Science Chef Edward Lee will discuss his development of a new vision of Asian-American cuisine. Chef Lee is a Korean-American who grew up in Brooklyn, trained in NYC kitchens, and has spent the better part of a decade honing his vision at 610 Magnolia restaurant in Louisville, KY. His cooking combines Korean and southern US influences in a creative way, and has earned him exposure on venues such as Iron Chef America and Top Chef. But he is also a very thoughtful culinary explorer, as is evident in his book from last year, Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen.

Wednesday, September 10th, 12:15-1:00 p.m. Gallery of Western Art, first floor, IU Art Museum
"Beyond Food Porn: Images and Affect in the Politics of Eating" -- Vivian Halloran will explore how viewers' visceral reaction to food art can be manipulated to affect political or behavioral change.

Friday, April 25th, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Bridgewaters Lounge, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

  • 11:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Marlon Bailey, Associate Professor in American Studies and Gender Studies
  • 12:00 p.m. Mentorship Lunch with Faculty
  • 1:00 p.m. Graduate Student Lightning Talks
  • 2:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion moderated by Cara Caddoo, Assistant Professor in American Studies

Tuesday, April 8th

The Department of American Studies and the Latino Studies Program hosted a visit by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Junot Daz, as part of a symposium on "Science Fiction in the Americas."

Picture of Nieto-Phillips, Diaz, Cohn