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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 Spring 2015 !



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

Friday and Saturday, October 10-11, Tree Suites, IMU

Global Moral Panics Symposium
Global Moral Panics is a two-day conference that will bring 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 organizers have invited contributing scholars to consider a range of issues that might be conceptualized in this way, from human trafficking to sex work, tourism, piracy, epidemics, child soldiering, invasive species, climate change and more. We suggest that such panics often envision a threat arising in the third world and threatening the first, imagine avenues for first-world citizens as saviors, propose solutions that criminalize migrants and laborers, and expand punitive state capacity. Participants will explore the symbolic strategies and social conditions behind these phenomena so as to expose, subvert, and redirect the disciplinary, policing approaches that have dominated crisis debates of late.

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.

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".

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.


  • 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.


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 10, 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 10, 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